Helping behavioral health, a long term crisis care center breaks ground in Rapid City

Crisis Stabilization Unit breaks ground and is expected to be completed fall of 2022.
Crisis Stabilization Unit breaks ground and is expected to be completed fall of 2022.(Jeffrey Lindblom)
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:26 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Pennington County Sherriff’s Office and its partners have been working on a project for five years that aims to provide resources to those experiencing behavioral health issues.

It’s called the Crisis Stabilization Unit and today they finally broke ground.

Rapid City’s up and coming Crisis Stabilization Unit aims to give people who need behavioral health and mental health assistance the local care they need.

Linda Reidt Kilber with Behavioral Health Systems says, “So, that we can keep individuals in our community is best for everybody. It’s best for the community. It’s best for employers. It’s best for families, and most of all, it’s a priority for the adults who are experiencing their crisis.”

To get that help now, people have to travel as far Yankton which is five hours away.

Kevin Thom, Pennington County Sheriff, says, “80-percent plus that are in and out of a facility within five days. So, this is going to save all those people from having to go to potentially Eastern South Dakota to go the Human Services Center. Which, again provides good services, but is a geographic challenge to get form here to there and back.”

Chief of Rapid City Police, Don Hedrick, says “It’s going to allow folks that need assistance to be closer to their resources in our community as opposed to being shipped across the state. They’re going to be closer to their connections. Closer to their family members and support, and that’s so important in a time of crisis.”

“To keep people in our community. It will only be stronger for them to help them in their road to recovery,” says Kilber.

Sheriff Thom says, “We’re the 24/7 guardians of our community. Whether it’s homelessness, mental health, substance abuse. We’re on the forefront with that.”

Chief Hedrick says, “A lot of times with first responders we’re dealing with somebody that’s in an immediate crisis, and it’s our main goal to get them out of that immediate crisis. But then, once that short time frame is over, we lack options.”

The Crisis Stabilization Unit will seek to address a need in the community that’s been looming for decades, longer term care, “And I’m confident the Crisis Stabilization Unit is going to bring more resources to the people that need it,” says Chief Hedrick.

“For example,” says Kilber, “they can get individual, group, family services, medication assistance and psychiatric services.”

“It provides that longer term option for individuals so that so that therapeutic interventions can be conducted, and there’s even an opportunity to provide medication if that’s needed. But, the big piece of that, of course,” says Barry Tice, the Director of Pennington County Health and Human services, “is that transition back to our community, and what we like to refer to as the ‘warm handoff.’”

“They will get linked back with clinical providers in their communities and other resources to assist them in their road to recovery. So that they have a support system when they go back to their own communities,” says Kilber.

“I think we’re going to lead the charge throughout the nation on things we can do in communities of our size to take really good care of people,” says Tice.

As for the project, it’s expected to be completed come the fall of 2022.

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