Avera Health To Expand Pilot Program To Bring Virtual Mental Health Care To Rural Law Enforcement

(KCCR) — Avera health is expanding a pilot program that will bring virtual mental health crisis care to law enforcement agencies in rural areas of South Dakota. A one million dollar gift from the Leona and Harry Helmsley Charitable Trust will help outfit law enforcement and court service officers in 23 counties with tablets to access the Avera eCARE system. Helmsley Trustee Walter Panzirer says the program will be another tool for law enforcement…

Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson says the program could be a model for other states…

Butte County is one of the original four pilot counties and Sheriff Fred Lamphere says they have seen the benefits of fast access to mental health professionals…

The pilot program will run through June of 2021. Lyman County is one of 18 counties to take part in the program for law enforcement with counties in the Fourth Judicial Circuit using the pilot program for court services and probation purposes.