CACS Overview

Our region has utilized the services at Capital Area Counseling since 1968. Capital Area Counseling is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation established to meet the mental health and addiction needs in Central South Dakota. The agency employs over ninety employees, who provide services in their offices or in the community, such as at schools throughout the area. CACS serves the nine counties of Hughes, Stanley, Haakon, Jones, Lyman, Buffalo, Hyde, Sully and Potter. The agency has an annual budget of $5.2 million.


Capital Area Counseling Service, Inc. aspires to be a great place to receive care and a great place to work in central South Dakota.

Core Values

Compassion - sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it;
Accountability - an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions; 
Respect - A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements;
Trustworthiness - The ability to be relied on as honest or truthful.


“The Right People Efficiently Providing Human Services To Those Who Need Them.”

At CACS, we strive to provide world class customer service, a culture of staff and client engagement and wellness, excellent outcomes, rapid access to services, comprehensive care and excellent value. And all employees have a personal responsibility to carry out our mission intentionally everyday with our purpose and core values in mind. Our employees and Board realize the value and potential there is in the diversity among the Board, employees, consumers and community partners. Each person brings different strengths to the table. 

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant,” Jim Collins

Visionary Awards

2018: Jim and Susan Mollison
2017: Pierre Police Department
2016: Mike Leidholt, Hughes County Sheriff
2015: Mansour Karim
2014: Jim and Cathy Bartels
2013: Bob Sutton, South Dakota Community Foundation
2012: Mike Putzier, SD Department of Social Services
2011: Doris Holden, Burke & Associates
2010: Larry Weiss, Parents Matter
2009: Kristin Brost, BankWest
2008: Terry L. Dosch, SD Council of Mental Health Centers
2007: Judge Lori S. Wilbur
2006: Donna Fjelstad
2005: James DM Russell
2004: BO Lindbloom MD
2003: Ellen Lee

Where It All Began

In March 1962, thirty doctors, ministers, hospital administrators, social workers, teachers, nurses, and other interested citizens from the Pierre area met to explore the possibility of organizing a chapter of the Mental Health Association. The result was the formation of the Center Area Chapter for Mental Health, the primary goal of which was to work toward initiating the provision of mental health services in the Pierre community. The Chapter elected its first officers in April 1962*. In March 1963 the group completed an extensive survey to determine the needs of the area, which included Hughes, Stanley and Sully Counties. Alcoholism and "family breakdown" resulting in disciplinary problems at home and school were identified as the two leading problems. In December 1986, the first group home was established in a rented property on Euclid Avenue. The home was named “Betty’s Place” in honor of Betty Larson’s long-term efforts to improve the quality of life for the chronically mentally ill.


Agar-Blunt-Onida School District
Avera McKennan Hospital
Avera Medical Group Pierre
Avera St. Mary’s Hospital
Avera St. Luke's Hospital
Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Area
Capital University Center
Countryside Hospice
Crow Creek Sioux Tribes
Dakota Radio Group
Factor 360
Highmore-Harold School District
Hughes County Sheriff's Office
Hughes County State's Attorney
Jones County Schools
Lower Brule Sioux Tribes
Lyman School District
May Adam Attorneys at Law
Missouri Shores Domestic Violence Center
Oahe Child Development
Oahe, Inc.
Philip Health Services
Pierre-Fort Pierre Ministerium
Pierre Indian Learning Center
Pierre Players
Pierre Police Department
Pierre School District
Professional Counseling Associates
Retired Senior Volunteer Program
River Front Broadcasting
South Dakota Department of Health
South Dakota Department of Labor
South Dakota Human Services Center
Stanley County State's Attorney
Stanley County School District
The Right Turn