Suicide is one of the top causes of death in South Dakota. For South Dakotans between the ages of 10 and 19, it is the leading cause of death.

In 2019, several State of South Dakota agencies set out to create a strategic plan to study the rising suicide rate, develop training resources, and work on ways to respond.

On August 11 and 12 Sioux Falls will host the "Start the Conversation" state-wide suicide prevention conference at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

The conference will feature speakers discussing suicide in relation to veterans, youth, and tribal communities. There will be presentations featuring speakers with a lived experience of suicide loss or survival.

Organizers describe the even an opportunity for South Dakota to come together and, "'Start the Conversation' to prevent suicide in South Dakota by reducing stigma and providing tools and resources."

The event is hosted by the South Dakota Suicide Prevention Workgroup with funding from the Department of Social Services and Department of Health.

"The conference will be an opportunity for individuals to access training and resources to help prevent suicide in South Dakota. Key speakers and sessions will focus on prevention strategies for veterans, ag producers, youth, tribal communities, and the general population," Govoner Knome said in a press release.

If you or someone you know need help with thoughts of suicide, Help is available 24/7 at the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, dial 988.

The Crisis Text Line is another service available to anyone 24/7. Text “Connect” to 741741.

Visit SDSuicidePrevention.org or BeThe1SD.com for numerous resources for people who need help, and people that want to help.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988