SIOUX CENTER—Mental health is on everyone’s radar these days, and to adapt, Sioux Center Health has less than a year ago begun offering mental health and behavioral services.
Work on establishing the program began about three years ago with Jeanne Kleinhesselink, who began furthering her education with the University of Iowa to get the proper credentials and expertise necessary. In October 2018, the hospital started its behavioral health service.
Since then, Kleinhesselink, who’s served as a family nurse practitioner with the Sioux Center Health for 23 years, has been working as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner for the hospital alongside Hannah Buteyn, a licensed master social worker who specializes in behavioral health.
As listed on the Sioux Center Health’s website, some of the common service included in her work address such issues as depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, OCD, bipolar disorder, psychosis and so on.
“What we have available, we have counseling services,” Kleinhesselink said. “Buteyn provides counseling and therapy. My role is to provide medication management. If people are having problems with emotions — depression, anxiety, feeling suicidal — they would come in for an initial intake and we would determine whether or not medication would be the best choice. We know with research that it’s proven that medication and therapy together really provide the best outcomes for a lot of people.”
Public reaction so has been positive, Kleinhesselink said.
“I have people who had been driving to Spencer, people who were doing tele-psychiatry, which means you see a psychiatrist over the screen. That works, but they prefer seeing someone in person,” she said. “We continue to see a need for these services. We’re seeing that there is definitely a place for us.”
People who make use of these behavioral health services don’t need to be injured or at the hospital for physical ailments.
Kleinhesselink recommended people seek behavioral health services when such feelings as anxiety, stress or depression become so great that they start to interfere with aspects of living, such as not sleeping well, sleeping too much or having no energy.
Sioux Center Health has publicized the availability of the Farm and Rural Stress Hotline (1-800-791-4336) that’s being offered through Avera. Through this number, callers can talk with mental health professionals about whatever they’re experiencing or feeling, such as signs or symptoms of anxiety or depression.
The hotline is free and available 24/7 for such people as farmers, ranchers or their family members.
Kleinhesselink is married to a farmer, so she knows the stress and anxiety that can come with that line of work.
“There are a lot of things beyond their control, and farmers are traditionally a very proud people, very self-reliant and independent,” she said. “That’s why Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota, implemented the hotline, because of her farming background and her concern for farmers and rural people because we do have limited access to rural mental health.”
According to Sioux Center Health’s website, most major insurance plans are accepted, along with Medicaid and Medicare, for its behavioral health services.
Appointments can be scheduled with a call to 712-722-2609.
Kleinhesselink noted that some people try to deal with stress, anxiety or depression through substance abuse. Those dealing with substance abuse issues can contact Seasons Center for Behavioral Health at 800-242-5101.