Over the past decade, South Dakota’s suicide rates rose by nearly 40 percent. State agencies along with the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health board are working to develop a comprehensive plan to prevent suicide in South Dakota and are seeking public input during the month of September. A draft of the plan is available for review at sdsuicideprevention.org.
“Suicide is impacting too many families, communities, and schools in our state,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “As we work together to develop a comprehensive plan for suicide prevention, it’s vital that we hear from community members, educators, faith leaders, and community-based organizations.”
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death among all South Dakotans. In 2018, 168 South Dakotans died by suicide. In addition, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 15-34.
Suicide is rarely caused by any single factor. According to a recent Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC), more than half of people who die by suicide are not known to have a diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death. Other problems often contribute to suicide, such as those related to relationships, substance use, physical health and job, money, legal or housing stress.
South Dakota has resources available to help individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts and support for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. If you need help call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Services are available 24/7. You can also contact any medical provider such as a family physician, psychiatrist or hospital emergency room, as well as a Community Mental Health Center or tribal mental health provider. Additional information, resources, and support are available at sdsuicideprevention.org. If you believe someone is at risk for suicide, get help immediately. Don’t wait to call.
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