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Resources available to help cope with disasters

For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 7, 2022
DSS Media Contact: dssmedia@state.sd.us or 605.773.3165


Resources available to help cope with disasters

PIERRE – When disasters strike, it can leave entire communities in shock with feelings of confusion, fear, and helplessness. Yet there are resources available to help South Dakotans cope.


Communities across South Dakota have experienced weather-related disasters over the last several months. While storm damage repair can happen relatively quickly, the mental stress can have longer lasting effects.


“Some people may be able to recover with the help of family, friends, and their community, but others may need additional support to move forward,” said Department of Social Services (DSS) Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill.


  • DSS has weather related behavioral health resources available for children, parents, and schools online at https://dss.sd.gov/behavioralhealth/default.aspx.  
  • To find a Community Mental Health Center in your area, visit https://dss.sd.gov/behavioralhealth/agencycounty.aspx or call the South Dakota Treatment Resource Hotline at 1.800.920.4343. Services can be in-person or via telehealth and financial assistance is available.
  • The Behavioral Health Voucher Program offers funding assistance and support for mental health services for individuals impacted by natural disasters, including farmers, ranchers and their families. For more information, visit www.605strong.com, call the SDSU Extension at 605.688.5125 or simply call 211.
  • Farmers and ranchers may also call the Farm and Rural Stress Hotline at 1.800.691.4336 to talk to Avera’s skilled and compassion mental health professionals.
  • Text “TALK” to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor at the Crisis Text Line.
  • High school students can text “icare” to 898211 to connect with the Helpline Center’s Text4Hope program.
  • Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800.273.8255 (TALK) or chat at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/.
  • Call 211 or text your zip code to 898211 to access resources in your area. The 211 Helpline app is also free and available on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

“Connecting people to the right resources is the best way to prevent negative emotions from becoming behavioral health issues,” said Gill.


If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or has concerns about their mental health, there is always help. Use these resources to find help for you, a friend, or a family member. Sometimes it is hard to admit that you need help, but it is never too late to ask for help with anything.