South Dakota Department of Social Services

South Dakota Youth Suicide Prevention Project
Garrett Lee Smith State
South Dakota

The South Dakota Youth Suicide Prevention Project will identify, support, educate and refer youth at risk to behavioral health services through targeting the youth directly and by training the clinical service providers and direct care staff who work with youth at risk.

The populations who will be targeted include youth who have made a suicide attempt or expressed suicidal ideation at an emergency department or inpatient psychiatric unit, youth attending institutions of higher learning, immigrant youth, LGBTQ youth, youth at K-12 school districts, American Indian youth in the juvenile justice system and military family members and veterans.

The project strategies include:

  1. Partnering with hospitals to provide extended follow-up support services to youths admitted to emergency departments and inpatient psychiatric units for suicide attempts or suicidal ideation.
  2. Partnering with three institutions of higher learning to introduce a crisis texting program for students and training staff in identifying, supporting and connecting students at risk.
  3. Providing training to clinical service providers on assessing, managing and treating at risk youth.
  4. Providing training to youth serving organizations to identify and refer youth at risk.

The objectives of the project include:

  • Improving the continuity of care and follow-up with youth identified at risk for suicide discharged from emergency departments and inpatient units.
  • Increasing the number of staff at juvenile justice programs, colleges, universities, high schools and middle schools that are trained to identify and refer youth at risk for suicide.
  • Increasing the number of clinical service providers (behavioral health providers and health professionals) trained to assess, manage and treat youth at risk for suicide.
  • Increasing the number of behavioral health referrals and the utilization of behavioral health services for youth at risk by improving the system across the state.
  •  Increasing the access points for youth at risk to receive assistance through a public awareness campaign, promoting the NSPL crisis line and promoting a crisis texting service.

The number of people that will be served annually by the project is 16,010 and throughout the lifetime of the project 80,050 people will be served.