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Press Releases

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 us at dssmedia@state.sd.us or 605.773.3165.

For a list of past news release, please visit NEWS.SD.gov.

2024

March 4, 2024
DSS Opens Spring Application for Opioid Settlement Fund Community Grant Program

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has opened a second round of applications for the South Dakota Opioid Settlement Fund Community Grant Program.

2023

Dec 14, 2023
DSS to Change Child Care Assistance Payment Policies
The Department of Social Services will be implementing policy changes to the Child Care Assistance (CCA) Program in order to better support families and South Dakota child care providers.

Nov 21, 2023
South Dakota Family Celebrating Adoption Month
The Winner, SD couple have seven children under one roof, including three boys who have been adopted through foster care. Six-year-old Telon and 5-year-old Tobias were adopted in 2020. Their biological brother, Israel, who will be 3 in March, legally became part of the family just this month.

Nov 17, 2023
Governor Designates Day as Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed Nov.18, 2023 as Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a day set aside for survivors of suicide loss to come together to find connection, understanding, and hope through their shared experience.

Nov 01, 2023
Healthy Bodies and Minds this Veterans' Day
Veteran’s Day, which is Nov. 11, is a time to honor all those who have served in the military during times of peace as well as war. More than 41 million Americans have served, over 200,000 of them being South Dakotans.

Oct 30, 2023
DSS launches program to address opioid use and misuse within the State
The Department of Social Services (DSS) recently launched the South Dakota Opioid Settlement Fund Community Grant Program, offering South Dakota based organizations the opportunity to apply for funding assistance to provide direct services and support to populations affected by opioid overdose within South Dakota communities.

Oct 26, 2023
Prescription Take-Back Day is Saturday October 28
National Prescription Take-Back Day is Saturday, Oct. 28. It is an opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs. South Dakotans have been strong participants in the past and are encouraged to take part again.

Sept 27, 2023
September is Suicide Prevention Month in South Dakota
Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed September as Suicide Prevention Month in South Dakota. This month is a time when South Dakotans join their voices to raise awareness of suicide prevention and renew efforts to make individuals aware that help is available.

Sept 11, 2023
Together We Are Stronger: Behavioral Health Recovery Month
With the start to a new school year in South Dakota, it’s time to talk about the ways schools and families can help maintain the emotional and mental health of their students.

August 23, 2023
Suicide Prevention: Back to School with Mental Health
With the start to a new school year in South Dakota, it’s time to talk about the ways schools and families can help maintain the emotional and mental health of their students.

August 21, 2023
Mental Health Voucher Program Launched for Childcare Providers
The Department of Social Services (DSS) recently launched a version of the Behavioral Health Voucher Program, offering funding assistance for mental health services to employees of state-licensed and registered childcare providers.

August 11, 2023
South Dakota Launches "Notes to Self" Marketing Campaign
The South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) Division of Behavioral Health is announcing a new marketing campaign entitled “Notes to Self”. The campaign was developed to generate awareness and eliminate stigmas surrounding behavioral health concerns. The campaign also aims to emphasize the roles we can all take in prevention and early intervention.

August 01, 2023
SD Provides Tuition Assistance for High-Demand Careers
South Dakotans looking to go into high-demand career fields can receive help paying for tuition and fees from four technical colleges within the state.

July 17, 2023
South Dakota's SNAP Payment Error Rate Lowest in Nation
South Dakota’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the nation’s most efficient and effectively run programs, according to payment error rates recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

July 13, 2023
988 Helping South Dakotans' Mental Health in Year One
The Department of Social Services (DSS) and The Helpline Center are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the start to South Dakota’s 988. 988 is a national three-digit phone number that has been created as a resource for all mental health-related distress, substance use, and suicide crises. People can also call 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need support.

June 26, 2023
Suicide Prevention: Addressing Self-Stigma to Elicit Help
Most people with mental illness face stigmas at some point. Stigmas can occur when people harbor negative views about things they might not fully understand. Stigmas can arise among friendships, within families, or inside social groups such as co-workers.

June 01, 2023
New portal gives employers new option to submit child support payments
A new online portal will give employers a new option to submit child support payments that are withheld from employees’ paychecks to the Department of Social Services (DSS).

May 15, 2023
Governor Noem calls for better mental health awareness
Reducing stigma and normalizing conversations about mental health concerns are keys to achieving better outcomes and well-being for individuals and families affected by poor mental health in South Dakota. That’s why Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness Month.

May 11, 2023
Celebrating Prevention Services in South Dakota
Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed May 7-13 as Prevention Week to recognize the efforts made by communities and organizations which promote positive mental health and prevent substance misuse.

May 03, 2023
Governor Proclaims May as Foster Parent Appreciation Month
Governor Kristi Noem has named May as Foster Parent Appreciation Month to recognize families that have stepped forward to help provide care, stability, and permanency for South Dakota children.

May 01, 2023
Nurses Week May 6 - 12, 2023
Each May nurses are recognized during National Nurses Week, May 6th-12th. National Nurses Week provides the opportunity to celebrate the nursing profession and to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and care nurses provide to their communities. It allows people to thank nurses for the work that they have done and the impact they have made on their patient’s lives.

Apr 13, 2023
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Saturday April 22
Saturday, April 22 is the next Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is an opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs.

Apr 11, 2023
Suicide Prevention: The Importance of Mental & Physical Health
Often people view the mind and body separately. Yet, a person’s mental and physical health are very closely related. If there are problems with one, it is likely there will be problems with the other.

Apr 04, 2023
Governor Noem calls for community support for the prevention of child abuse, neglect
Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month to help bring an end to abuse and neglect in South Dakota.

Feb 28, 2023
Suicide Prevention: Healthy habits for older adults
As you grow older, you may find yourself spending more time at home alone. Being lonely or socially isolated is not good for your mental health as it can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety including thoughts of suicide.

Feb 02, 2023
Suicide Prevention: Mental Health & Older Adults
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, affecting people of all ages, including older adults.

Jan 30, 2023
Grants available for Child Care Expansion and Startup
Governor Kristi Noem has approved the release of $12.5 million in federal funding over the next year to fuel the expansion and startup of new child care facilities in South Dakota.

Jan 27, 2023
More foster families are needed to care for South Dakota teens and their families
When conditions make it unsafe for teens to be at home, more foster families are needed to care for the teens and support their families.

Jan 23, 2023
Fake Pills Kill: The Increasing Danger of Fentanyl
Counterfeit pills containing deadly amounts of fentanyl are being seized in unprecedented quantities by the DEA in every state, including SD.

Jan 09, 2023
Suicide Prevention: Weathering the Storm
The impacts of winter storms can be stressful but there are resources to help you weather the storm.


For a list of past Mental Health Memos, please visit NEWS.SD.gov.

Apr 03, 2024
What's in your Medicine Cabinet?
Spring cleaning this year? Don’t forget to include your medicine cabinet! Many of us accumulate multiple medications over the course of a year, whether it’s over the counter medication for a pesky cold or stronger medication prescribed to us by our doctor for a more serious medical condition.

Feb 12, 2024
Healthy Communication: I can't read your mind!
We’re all doing it – all day, every day, whether we want to or not, everyone is constantly communicating with each other. It helps each of us meet our needs as individuals. Although communication is a common yet important skill, healthy communication requires additional effort, time, and motivation. 

Jan 17, 2024
A DBT-Informed New Year: Building Mastery to Achieve Your Goals in 2024
The New Year is a new beginning filled with opportunity, inspiration, and optimism. Folks often set ambitious resolutions with good intentions of getting a fresh start in the New Year. 

Dec 18, 2023
Blessed, Stressed Holidays
I think it’s obvious that the changes of season in South Dakota impact what kinds of activities we partake in, but have you ever noticed how it impacts your overall attitude? For example, when cool fall weather hit South Dakota, it triggered hordes of vest-wearing guys and gals to flock to their local coffee establishments for pumpkin spiced everything, an instant mood-improver.

Nov 06, 2023
Holidays and the Elderly
For many of us the holiday season is a time of joy and family togetherness, but, as we age, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can become overwhelming and isolating. As we all rush to the many events that happen during this season, it can be easy to forget about our loved ones who may be residing alone at home or in a care facility.

Oct 11, 2023
Mental Illness Awareness Week
The first week of October is Mental Illness Awareness Week. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1 in 6 South Dakota adults live with some form of mental illness. Despite this frequency, those who live with a mental health disorder or addiction often report they feel isolated and alone.

Sept 14, 2023
Mental Health Memo: Suicide Prevention Month
Using Hope to Strengthen Life, Leading to Improved Mental Health

August 14, 2023
Overdose Awareness Month
Displaying a ribbon has become a symbolic way to show support for or bring awareness to a cause or social issue.

July 10, 2023
Mental Health Memo: Let's Talk About Summer Wellness
It's important as caretakers of children to be aware that summer break can be hard, and it's important to ensure kids are taking care of their wellness this summer.

June 02, 2023
PTSI Awareness Month
June is Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) Awareness Month (also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month).

May 01, 2023
Nurses Week May 6 - 12, 2023
Each May nurses are recognized during National Nurses Week, May 6th-12th. National Nurses Week provides the opportunity to celebrate the nursing profession and to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and care nurses provide to their communities.

Apr 4, 2023
National Prescription Take Back Day
Have you ever wondered what to do with expired or unused medication?  

Mar 08, 2023
Celebrating Social Workers: March Mental Health Memo
HSC is helping celebrate this year’s Social Work Month. The theme “Social Work Breaks Barriers” features the many ways in which social workers have helped people, including South Dakotans, overcome challenges so they can have a better quality of life

Jan 31, 2023
Teen Dating Violence Awareness: February Mental Health Memo
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Jan 03, 2023
Put mental health first in the New Year: January Mental Health Memo
As you ring in the New Year, remember every day is an opportunity for a fresh beginning. Taking care of our mental health is just as important as taking care of our physical health.