Almost every state bar member has experienced a time when a personal problem or crisis affected their life. Recognizing this, your State Bar, over the past several years, has instituted a variety of ways to support our members when they may need it most. This page is dedicated to providing you with the information you need about the programs and resources available to the members of our South Dakota legal community and their families.
Phone calls to the state bar office for individuals seeking help for chemical dependency or mental health resources have always and will continue to be kept strictly confidential. But to ensure you know we value your privacy and your desire for strict confidentiality, the State Bar of South Dakota has contracted with a third party to provide you with appropriate referrals to our state bar Lawyers Assistance Committee and Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers.
We understand that members needing help may be reluctant to call State Bar Headquarters for the appropriate referral, and that an agency independent of State Bar staff may reduce any reluctance to call. Beginning in July 2017, individuals who need help or are concerned about an attorney in their life can call Disability Rights South Dakota for assistance. If you call Disability Rights SD, you will receive names and contact information for volunteers from Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers or the Lawyers Assistance Committee who are trained to help you.
You can reach Disability Rights SD by calling 1-800-658-4782. You do not need to provide your name or the name of the individual needing assistance to receive an appropriate referral.
Living Above the Bar
Want to be the best lawyer you can be? To do that, sometimes we need the help of a medical expert – our own doctor. Don’t feel like you have time to go see your medical provider? These short videos will provide you with inspiration from other South Dakota lawyers and advice from a nationally recognized physician so that you will know when medical evaluation is your best option. Knowing when to ask for help is not only a sign of strength and intelligence, it can literally save your life.
- Substance Use Disorder
- Approaching a Colleague or Friend
- Co-Occurring Disorders
- Cognitive Impairment
Sand Creek Member Assistance Program
South Dakota state bar members and their families have access to the Sand Creek Member Assistance Program portal. Because we believe in the importance of providing support when YOU need it, our state bar has contracted with Sand Creek to provide FREE, confidential assessment, short-term counseling, referral, and follow-up for you and your eligible family members. A licensed counselor will assist you in assessing your situation, finding options, making choices, and locating further help.
For more information, please visit the Sand Creek Member Assistance Website, click on the “work life wellness login” located on the top bar of the website. Our State Bar Company ID is sbsd1.
You can also call 1-888-243-5744. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A trained professional will speak with you about crisis services and/or problem assessment, action planning and follow up.
Mental Health Centers Agreement
Our state bar has an agreement with the eleven mental health centers across the state of South Dakota. If you think you need help with a mental health, substance or addiction issue, the State Bar encourages you to seek a professional evaluation. If you don't have insurance or otherwise lack the financial resources, this State Bar project, funded by ALPS and the SD Bar Foundation, will cover the evaluation cost and several follow-up counseling sessions if they are needed.
The only requirement from you is to schedule your appointment with the mental health center of your choosing and show your active State Bar membership card. This is a confidential project. Counseling records are not made available to the State Bar. We just pay the bill for those who can't afford it, up to a limit of $500 per lawyer.
A listing of the South Dakota Mental Health Centers can be located here:
What is SOLACE? If you are aware of anyone within the South Dakota Legal Community (this includes lawyers, law office personnel, judges, courthouse employees, or law students) any member of this community who has suffered a sudden or catastrophic loss due to an unexpected event, illness, or injury, the South Dakota SOLACE Program may be able to assist.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you, or someone you know, could benefit from this program. We have a nationwide network of generous South Dakota attorneys willing to get involved and help. The SOLACE program includes contributions of clothing, housing, transportation, medical community contacts, and a myriad of other possible solutions through the thousands of contacts available through the State Bar of South Dakota and its membership.