Gov. Dennis Daugaard Declares Sept. 10 – 16 as Suicide Prevention Week

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed Sept. 10 – 16 as Suicide Prevention Week in South Dakota. Suicide does not discriminate, according to the South Dakota Department of Social Services, with people of all genders, ages and ethnicities at risk. The Department says suicide is a major public health concern with over 40,000 people dying by suicide each year, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the ninth leading cause of death in South Dakota.

“Suicide is complicated and tragic, and continues long after the death by impacting bereaved loved ones and communities,” said Janelle Keller, program manager for the Department of Social Services’ Prevention Program. “Suicide is preventable and we can help by starting the conversation, providing support and directing those who need help to services.”

South Dakota has resources available to help individuals experiencing a suicidal crisis and support for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. Individuals in need of help are encouraged to call the South Dakota Helpline Center at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Services are available 24/7. 

Help can also be obtained by contacting any medical provider such as a family physician, psychiatrist or hospital emergency room, as well as a Community Mental health Center or other mental health provider in your area. If you believe someone is at risk for suicide, contact a professional immediately.

The Prevention Program hosts suicide prevention trainings each year for various professionals, parents and communities. The training is focused on providing the skills and resources necessary to reduce the risk of suicide.

“Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide,” said Keller. “Knowing the warning signs and who to contact for help is vital.”

To learn more about suicide, the warning signs, how to get help and to find upcoming suicide prevention training, please visit For those who have lost a loved one to suicide, a list of support groups in South Dakota is also available.

For more information about behavioral health services, or to find a Community Mental Health Center in your area, contact the Department of Social Services’ Division of Behavioral Health at 605-773-3123, toll-free at 1-855-878-6057 or online at

Governor’s Proclamation