Joan Adam, Secretary of Health
South Dakota Department of Health

Suicide Prevention

Call 1.800.273.8255 to access the help line 24/7

Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. While the causes of suicide are complex and determined by multiple factors, the goal of suicide prevention is to reduce factors that increase risk and increase factors that promote resilience. Ideally, prevention addresses all levels of influence: individual, relationship, community, and societal. Collaborative partnerships between state agencies and communities to implement evidence-based interventions will help promote awareness of suicide and encourage a commitment to social change.

A combination of individual, relational, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of suicide. Risk factors are those characteristics associated with suicide - they may or may not be direct causes - and may include family history of suicide, family history of child abuse/neglect, previous suicide attempts, history of mental health disorder, alcohol/substance abuse, local epidemics of suicide, loss (relationship, financial, job), etc.

September is Suicide Prevention Month in South Dakota (09-01-2021 news release)

2021 Suicide Prevention Month Proclamation

Warning Signs

  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself
  • Seeking access to means to harm self
  • Talking, writing, or posting on social media about death, dying, or suicide
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling worthless or feeling a lack of purpose
  • Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities
  • Feeling trapped
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from family, friends, or society
  • Demonstrating rage and anger or seeking revenge
  • Dramatic Changes in mood

How You Can Help

  • Let the person know you are concerned and willing to help
  • Discuss your observations with the person
  • Ask questions without dread
  • Refrain from expressing negative judgement
  • Appear confident, as this can be reassuring
  • Be comfortable with asking:
    "Are you having thoughts of suicide?"
    "Are you thinking about killing yourself?"



Additional Resources


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