Report recommends expanding number of inpatient beds

 Regional Behavioral Health Center in Rapid City, S.D.
Regional Behavioral Health Center in Rapid City, S.D. (KOTA)
Published: Oct. 31, 2019 at 4:50 PM MDT
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A recent report recommended that Pennington County add 30 inpatient psychiatric beds at Regional Behavioral Health Center.

"The National Council for Behavioral Health came in and sent consultants to look at the community and what the needs and the availability of mental health services in Rapid City," said Dr. Katy Sullivan, Director of Behavioral Health Services at Regional Behavioral Health Center. "What it could mean for us as a mental health community would be greater collaboration and more of a chance to find ways to think outside of the box and find different, effective, and more cutting-edge treatment.

The report listed 12 additional proposals dealing with mental health, including establishing a crisis stabilization unit, bolstering the existing local system of recovery housing and employment support, organizing further studies on operations, and adding more case managers to specialty courts that administer to drugs, DUIs, veterans and mental health.

These proposals would help keep people seeking mental health treatment in their communities.

"The more we can bolster up our community-based services when it comes to mental health and substance abuse, we can provide those needed services in the community," said Sen. Alan Solano, District 32. "So people stay in their homes, in their communities where they're connected closest to their family, and friends, and natural support system."

The only public psychiatric hospital in South Dakota is in Yankton, nearly 350 miles away from Rapid City. There are 52 beds at Regional Behavioral Health Center, 34 are for adults, 18 are for children.

Tele-psychiatry is one of the newest treatment options. Sullivan said that it has so far been successful and allows for 24/7 video consultation with mental health care professionals.