Mental health calls surge in western South Dakota city

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A mental health helpline in South Dakota saw a surge in calls last year, and its coordinator says that’s a good thing.
The Rapid City Journal reports that the Helpline Center last year received 460 suicide-related calls from Black Hills residents. That’s a 40% increase from 2017. It received a total 2,334 suicide-related calls for the state in 2018, up from 1,831 in 2017.
Audrey Nordine is the Black Hills program coordinator with Helpline Center . She notes that the increase in calls is a hopeful sign that more people are seeking help. She adds that it shows the stigma of mental health issues is subsiding.
The 211 helpline is available to 70% of the state’s population living in Pennington, Butte, Fall River, Custer, Lawrence and Meade counties.

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