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Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Services

One in five U.S. adults have mental health needs, yet our healthcare system’s ability to meet them is devastatingly inadequate. The shortage of appropriate care is particularly acute in rural communities: As of 2018, there were only 9.1 psychologists per 100,000 people in rural counties.

This has to change. There is no health without mental health, which is why Helmsley supports organizations and health systems to ensure that high-quality behavioral health care is more widely available.

Our approach recognizes the need to build a pipeline of trained experts, which is why we supported the establishment of a psychiatry residency training program for doctors to train and remain in rural communities. Our investments have also helped build a 24/7 telemedicine behavioral health team that connects patients with timely, cost-effective, high-quality care, no matter where they live.

On top of drastic provider shortages, two million people in the United States who are in need of mental healthcare are instead sent to jail each year. We support a pilot initiative that uses video conferencing to help law enforcement connect people with mental health professionals during an emergency. Telemedicine can provide 24/7 access to mental health expertise and help solve for the lack of mental healthcare providers we face across the country, especially in the upper Midwest.

A major step forward for youth mental healthcare in South Dakota

A major step forward for youth mental healthcare in South Dakota

Helmsley granted $13 million to Avera Health build a new behavioral health wing in Sioux Falls. The adolescent behavioral health center will serve four states and include a first-of-its kind behavioral health emergency department. Read more on South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Ready access to early detection and intervention for behavioral health patients are associated with improved outcomes and significant savings across the lifespan.

Virtual Crisis Care

The Virtual Crisis Care program, launched with pilot funding from Helmsley, works to ensure that individuals in psychiatric crisis receive timely access to care by equipping law enforcement officers across South Dakota with tablets to connect to mental health professionals.