South Dakota Youth Suicide Prevention Project

The South Dakota Department of Social Services was awarded a five-year grant from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2014. The South Dakota Youth Suicide Prevention Project grant has several components – all of them focusing on reaching the target audience of youth and young adults ages 10 to 24 years old who have made a suicide attempt or expressed suicidal ideation.  Within the youth and young adult age group, there are several populations that have been identified as high-risk groups. Those include:

  • Youth and Young adults discharged from Emergency rooms and  inpatient psychiatric units
  • Youth and Young adults attending institutions of higher learning
  • Immigrant Youth and Young Adults
  • LGBTQ Youth and Young Adults
  • Youth in K-12 school districts
  • American Indian Youth
  • Youth involved with the juvenile justice system
  • Youth and Young adults in the military or who are veterans or who have parent in the military


One of the components of the grant is to develop public awareness campaigns to reach the at-risk populations to encourage them to reach out through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.    Five separate public awareness campaigns over the five year grant will be developed.  Each one will target one of the high risk populations as defined by SAMHSA. The target group for this year of the public awareness campaign is LGBTQ youth. The public awareness campaigns will adhere to the Framework for Successful Messaging developed by the National Action Alliance For Suicide Prevention. Input on the campaigns will come from the public awareness committee.


The other components of the grant include a follow-up support program for youth discharged from inpatient psychiatric units or emergency departments, a crisis texting program at three colleges, training for clinicians, training for educators, training for juvenile justice staff and improving referral protocols for identification of at-risk youth in schools.