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DSS stresses need to seek help in crisis situations





DSS stresses need to seek help in crisis situations

PIERRE – During this period of uncertainty and stress, the Department of Social Services urges people to seek help when they need it. 

“Anxiety about the current health emergency, financial stress, and isolation from friends, family, and support systems can cause major issues for many South Dakotans,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “It is important that we take steps for ourselves or others to seek help in crisis situations. Help with mental health concerns or substance use disorders is readily available for whoever needs it.”

While everyone reacts differently to stressful situations like the COVID-19 outbreak and requisite social distancing, some may have heightened feelings of worry, fear, uncertainty, boredom, frustration, anger, depression, or a desire to use alcohol or drugs to cope. It is important to recognize those feelings and find healthy coping mechanisms.

To find help in your area, visit https://dss.sd.gov/behavioralhealth/agencycounty.aspx or FindTreatment.gov.

If a friend, family member or yourself is feeling overwhelmed with emotions such as sadness, depression or anxiety, please reach out to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255) or text “Hello” to 741741.

“While it may feel like you are alone, please know that we are all in this together,” Gill said. “There is help available to listen and provide the support you need.”

Stress can go beyond the individual and have serious impacts on families and communities. Some may turn to drugs and alcohol to cope and the incidence of child abuse and neglect can worsen.

To report child abuse or neglect, please call 1.877.244.0864. Intake Specialists will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If reporting an emergency situation before 8 a.m., after 5 p.m., on the weekends, or during a holiday, please contact your local law enforcement.

For those dealing with substance use issues, call 1.800.920.4343 or text “ONMETH” to 898211 for immediate assistance.

“During these unprecedented times, it can be easy to slip into behaviors that are harmful to yourself or others,” Gill said. “It’s up to all of us to help each other get through times of crisis. Please reach out to those you know who may be having a difficult time, or if you are experiencing problems yourself, please seek the assistance you need. There is no shame in asking for help.”

For more information, please visit dss.sd.govor search for South Dakota Department of Social Services on Facebook.