For years the ups and downs of the farm economy, the rural nature of our state and so many people needing to work multiple jobs to barely make ends meet, we have had a shortage of mental health professionals to deal with the problem.
Enter the COVID 19 outbreak and the loss of jobs, and feelings of isolation that quarantining, and social distancing have created, the shortage is more pronounced, especially in rural areas.
Also, while the urban areas of the state, Rapid City, Aberdeen, and Sioux Falls have adequate regular healthcare options, most of the rest of the state does not.
We need to change the “as is,” into a broader “should be.”
Our population is aging. Older people need more healthcare. With the number of people seeking mental health counseling it’s obvious we need more professionals in that field, too.
Obviously, telemedicine is helping, but it can’t do everything. Sometimes, one on one, face to face visits are needed. Driving long distances to the big city is not convenient and is expensive.
I want to work with medical, mental health professionals, and our University and Tech Education schools to provide more and higher levels of care in our state.