S.D. legislative panel sets mental-health goals

Capitol News Bureau
KELO pierre capitol building

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A group of state lawmakers and citizens identified Tuesday seven mental-health targets they want reached in South Dakota during the next 18 months.

The Mental Health Services Delivery Task Force will put them in a report that’s due December 1 to the Legislature’s Executive Board.

The list includes:

A directive that the state Department of Social Services look at gaps and opportunities in the juvenile mental-health system and report to the Legislature during the 2023 session.

Recognize the value of emergency services such as 211, 866, virtual crisis care and peer-to-peer support, and further develop a social-media campaign for them.

A directive that the state Department of Health report to the Legislature during the 2022 session on the Text for Hope program.

A legislative resolution during the 2022 session calling for mental-health compensation to be closer to costs and sufficient for facilities to sustain operations.

A directive that the Department of Social Services assemble a work group on competency restoration and report to the Legislature during the 2023 session.

Recognition of the importance of telehealth and the role of broadband in supporting it.

Recognition of the shortage of mental-health providers.

This is the fourth year in a row that legislative study committees moved forward with mental-health proposals. Senator Wayne Steinhauer offered the latest targets. He chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

“All standing committees need to take a more active role in the appropriation process,” Steinhauer said.

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