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DSS News provides media and the public with current news and events happening within the Department of Social Services. If you need background or further information on any article, please contact Communications Director, Kristin Kellar, at 605-773-3165.

Featured Article: September 5, 2014

Gov. Dennis Daugaard declares Sept. 7-13 as Suicide Prevention Week

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed Sept. 7 – 13 as “Suicide Prevention Week” in South Dakota. Suicide occurs across all age, economic, social and ethnic groups, and is now the tenth leading cause of all deaths in the United States and the ninth leading cause of all deaths in the state of South Dakota.

This year’s theme, Suicide Prevention: One World Connected, “emphasizes the need to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death on a global level,” said Gib Sudbeck, program manager, of the state Department of Social Services’ Prevention Program. In 2011 there were 39,518 suicide deaths in the United States with 125 of these suicide deaths in South Dakota. To help prevent suicides, it is critical that everyone learn the signs and risk factors for suicide and learn what prevention, early intervention and treatment resources are available in their local community. 

Suicides may be prevented when suicidal behaviors are detected early and individuals are referred to services and supports. Help can be obtained in South Dakota communities for the assessment and treatment of suicidal behaviors and their underlying causes. If you believe there is a suicide risk, contact a professional immediately. Call the suicide crisis hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a family physician, a psychiatrist, a medical emergency room or a community mental health center in your area. 

For more information about suicide prevention in South Dakota or the South Dakota Strategy for Suicide Prevention log on to www.sdsuicideprevention.org/.  

For more information about behavioral health services in your area, contact the Department of Social Services’ Division of Behavioral Health at 605-773-3123 or log on to www.dss.sd.gov/behavioralhealthservices/.

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Executive Proclamation