New mental health facility to be built in Pierre

PIERRE, S.D. (DAKOTA RADIO GROUP) - A new, integrated behavioral health care facility serving central South Dakota will be built in Pierre, reports Dakota Radio Group.

Capital Area Counseling Services Board of Directors member Tiffany Sanchez said they have been raising funds for the past few years.

"We are happy to announce that we will be breaking ground on a new 22,000-plus square-foot facility to provide mental health services to our community -- as well as nine adjacent communities -- hopefully opening by 2019," she said.

Sanchez said there is a growing need for mental health care services across the region. With several major projects going on in the area, she said they knew fundraising could be challenging.

"Mental health is one of those things that people don't always like to talk about," she said. "We're kind of an underdog in going up against something as awesome as the Helmsley Cancer Center -- we are also supportive of that. We have churches that are doing fundraising, you have the community center, we have so many wonderful things happening in our community. But mental health -- you don't have a lot of fundraisers for people who are experiencing depression, and so it is definitely the underdog, but something we need to take care of.

Sanchez said mental health problems could affect anyone.

"It does not discriminate based on anything -- sex, race, gender, socioeconomic status, religion," she said. "Mental health issues can affect all of us, and we all someone who has been touched by depression, addiction, suicide -- all those are mental health issues that we want to bring to the forefront. We want to provide services, we want to give people support and know that there is hope."

Along with bringing all of their staff and resources under one roof, the new facility will allow Capital Area Counseling to offer more services.

"We hope to provide a Mobile Crisis Suite, so that people who are experiencing really high-anxiety, high-stress situations where they need some one-on-one support, instead of being put into the jail and locked up that they will have a supportive place to go."

"We are not going to completely finish the building because we don't have the funding, but we really are adamant that we don't want to overstep what we are capable of affording," Sanchez said. "So we are going to do what we can with what we have right now to bring all of our services under one roof and hopefully get the additional support financially to finish the building."

The building construction is scheduled to break ground in August.
Capital Area Counseling Services will mark its 50th anniversary early next month.