Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources allocates $ 500,000 in funding to support rural mental health programs | State News



The Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) has allocated $ 500,000 in funding to support mental and behavioral health programs for rural areas and in particular farmers and ranchers across the state.

“Months of drought coupled with low prices for our ranchers have taken their toll on farmers and ranchers across the state,” said DANR Secretary Hunter Roberts. “I strongly encourage our producers to take advantage of these resources and ask for help if you need it. No one should wait until they are in crisis to get the care they need. “

DANR works in partnership with the Department of Human Services (DSS), Avera Health and South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension to fund new and existing programs.

DSS will receive $ 120,000 to support its Behavioral Health Voucher program through 605 Strong. The program will be managed by the Behavioral Health Division of DSS. With this funding, farmers and ranchers will now be eligible to receive free counseling on mental health or substance use disorders. To access this program, call 211 or visit

Avera will receive $ 100,000 to support its agricultural and rural stress helpline. This funding will help cover the operational costs of the hotline in order to continue to support our producers. Farmers and ranchers can reach the hotline at 1-800-691-4336.

SDSU Extension will receive $ 245,000 to support new and existing mental health programs targeting producers. This includes agricultural behavioral health training for professionals and expanding programs including: Sustaining the Legacy and QPR Institute suicide prevention trainings across South Dakota.

DANR will receive $ 35,000 to promote the expansion of the Behavioral Health Voucher program.

Funding for this grant was provided by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.


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