Celebrating Prevention Services in South Dakota
PIERRE – Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed May 7-13 as Prevention Week to recognize the efforts made by communities and organizations which promote positive mental health and prevent substance misuse.
“During Prevention Week, we are raising awareness of the substance misuse that exists in our communities and mental health issues we face while shining a light on effective prevention programs,” said Department of Social Services (DSS) Cabinet Secretary Matt Althoff.
DSS has partnered with 19 contracted coalitions and three Prevention Resource Centers (PRCs) to create the base of South Dakota’s Prevention Network. The network provides prevention services and education in schools and communities to individuals of all ages.
“Prevention work happens across South Dakota every day,” said Althoff. “Those who come together to help change harmful behaviors and protect the well-being of their communities are doing noble work. They should be commended for their efforts.”
Some examples of prevention efforts taking place within the state, include:
- The Northeastern Prevention Resource Center in Watertown is working alongside other vested community stakeholders to implement a five-hour evidence-based education program that 18–20-year-olds can take instead of receiving a ticket for their first underage consumption. Those who finish the program, which now in its second year, are less likely to re-offend;
- The Lifeways Coalition in Rapid City is recognizing that prevention education needs to be implemented at an earlier age. They have partnered with the local school district and are utilizing a dedicated Lifeways Counselor to pilot an evidenced-based program for 4th and 5th graders in three elementary schools. The work will be expanded to additional elementary schools next school year; and,
- The Safe Communities Coalition is focusing on a strategy that changes standards, codes, and attitudes related to substances. During Lemmon’s “Boss Cowman Days,” Safe Communities collaborates with law enforcement and local businesses to provide resources that address laws relating to the sale and consumption of alcohol with the goal of limiting alcohol access to minors.
While these are just a few of the many stories heard within our state, every story is unique, every story matters. To read more success stories from DSS’ contracted prevention providers, visit: https://dss.sd.gov/behavioralhealth/default.aspx.
Reach out to your local prevention coalition and PRC to learn what they are doing in your community and what you can do to be a part of something impactful. https://dss.sd.gov/formsandpubs/docs/BH/SUD_Prev_flyer.pdf
The South Dakota Department of Social Services is dedicated to strengthening families to foster health, wellbeing, and independence. For more information, please visit dss.sd.gov.