YANKTON, S.D (KELO) The need for mental health resources is growing across South Dakota, particularly in rural communities. The city of Yankton is working to address this issue through a new behavioral health care facility.

Community members, healthcare officials, and others gathered in northern Yankton today to break ground on a new facility.

This project began three years ago by Lewis and Clark Behavior Health Services.

The $26 million facility will provide crisis care for behavioral health, mental health and substance abuse for Yankton and surrounding communities.

“We’ve seen significant growth, particularly in the area of crisis care and pre-pandemic to now we’ve seen about a 30% increase in the need for crisis care, behavioral health crisis care, both for substance use and mental health services,” said Dr. Tom Stanage, Executive Director of LCBHS.

This multimillion-dollar facility was made possible thanks to a 14 million-dollar investment by Rural Development.

“Being able to make this investment helps us keep this region healthier. And it helps us make sure that this community has what it needs to be successful” said Nikki Gronli State, Director for the USDA Rural Development.

“Those partnerships with the City, the National Guard, the State of South Dakota, USDA Rural Development, and then just a lot of people, a lot of staff and support from different agencies, doing what’s needed to get everything done to get us to this point,” Stanage said.

Gronli says this is a collaborative effort to address the growing need for mental health resources.

“We need to remove the stigma behind substance abuse and mental health issues. And we need to talk about what’s really going on. That’s how we’re going to have a healthier South Dakota” Gronli said.

The facility is expected to be completed in 2025. LCBHS currently has four locations providing crisis care services in Yankton.

When finished, the facility will bring all four location services under one roof.