Friday, October 22, 2021


Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.


House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

SD Keeps Mental-Health Program Going through the Holidays


Thursday, December 24, 2020   

PIERRE, S.D. -- South Dakotans who may be dealing with mental-health issues made worse by the pandemic can still make use of a special program.

State officials say they don't want anyone's anxiety exacerbated by the "holiday blues" as the crisis drags on.

Launched in the spring, "605 Strong" offers resources and support, including crisis intervention, through a COVID-19 call center. It's designed for folks dealing with unemployment, housing and health concerns.

Laurie Gill, Secretary of the Department of Social Services, said it's important to keep the initiative in place, since COVID-19 and the holiday season are overlapping at the worst time for some individuals.

"People are still experiencing the effects of the pandemic, and we know that holidays, along with being joyful, for many people can be stressful, and sad and lonely," Gill explained.

The service is free and anonymous. A person in need of help can simply call 211, or go online to When reaching out, a trained counselor is available, or the program can connect a person with other resources.

Gill emphasized being able to remain anonymous is especially important, since the crisis is prompting many people who might have never considered seeking help before to now give it some thought.

"They're experiencing stresses right now, and they never have experienced this before," Gill remarked. "And they're afraid. Sometimes people don't want to burden their friends and families with their worries and their fears."

While there's no current total, Gill said several thousand South Dakotans have accessed the service so far.

The "605 Strong" program is funded through a federal grant, and the state said it will periodically evaluate how long to continue it, based on the level of need and the pandemic.

get more stories like this via email

California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021