2019 Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 - Printed

State of South Dakota  


Introduced by:    Senators Soholt, Ewing, Kennedy, Langer, Solano, Stalzer, and Wismer and Representatives Otten (Herman), Diedrich, Haugaard, Howard, Hunhoff, Jensen (Kevin), Johns, and Reed at the request of the Access to Mental Health Services Study Committee

        A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, To provide for legislative task forces to study, report, and develop and consider recommendations and proposed legislation regarding sustainable improvements to the continuum of mental health services available in the state.
    WHEREAS, mental health issues in the State of South Dakota constitute a public health crisis; and
    WHEREAS, communities, families, and individuals face a broad spectrum of mental health challenges on a daily basis; and
    WHEREAS, South Dakota is faced with a high rate of suicide; and
    WHEREAS, productive, long-term solutions are needed to address mental health access; and
    WHEREAS, regionally focused solutions are the pathway to provide mental health access for all citizens; and
    WHEREAS, separate task forces should be established to study, review, and identify each of the following:
            (1)    Redefine acute mental health hospitalizations in the areas of short, intermediate, and

long-term placement, with emphasis on keeping individuals needing placement in community whenever possible;

            (2)    Reduce the overall use of acute mental health hospitalizations by developing and supporting existing alternatives where appropriate, create community-based short-stay alternatives, and develop day treatment options;
            (3)    Leverage telehealth and telemedicine to the full appropriate extent, with focus on the areas of acute assessment and crisis supports, along with mental health assessments and counseling;
            (4)    Redefine Human Service Center nursing home admission criteria and build mental health nursing home capacity for persons with organic brain damage; and
            (5)    Increase the capacity for transitional housing and residential services in communities to keep individuals closer to home, and develop caregiver supports; and
    WHEREAS, the task forces should consist of subgroups to study each recommended area, as appointed by the Legislature, and task force subgroups should meet at least three times per year; and
    WHEREAS, the task forces should make recommendations in a report to the Legislature no later than December 31, 2019, which should address changes necessary within state and county programs and any other areas deemed necessary:
    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Senate of the Ninety-Fourth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the House of Representatives concurring therein, that the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council is hereby directed to establish task forces on the status of mental health care in order to further the objectives described in this resolution.

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