PREVIEW: A connection during crisis


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A program is helping people experiencing a mental health crisis get the help they need sooner. 

The Virtual Crisis Care Program equips law enforcement with electronic tablets. If they encounter someone in crisis, that person can use the table to speak with a mental health professional at Avera eCare. The program is made possible by $1 million in pilot funding from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. 

“We’re looking at the opportunity, what is the sustainability of this? Is it really going to make an impact? Based on what we’ve researched and what we feel we can do, this is going to make an impact and we are looking for a statewide push for the whole state of South Dakota,” Avera eCare Clinical Officer Brian Erickson said. 

Some court services officers also have the tablets. Coming up in Monday’s Eye on KELOLAND, we’ll give you an example of how the program has helped someone.

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