Philanthropic Planning Study Finds Support for Capital Area Counseling Service, Inc.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

For Immediate Release
June 7, 2016

Paul J. Strawhecker, Inc. of Omaha, Nebraska, recently conducted a philanthropic planning study for Capital Area Counseling Service, Inc. (CACS) to evaluate the prospect of the agency building a new facility in Pierre.

Established in 1968, Capital Area Counseling Service primarily provides mental health, addiction and foster care services to residents of nine counties in central South Dakota: Buffalo, Haakon, Hughes, Hyde, Jones, Lyman, Potter, Stanley and Sully. In 2015, CACS provided treatment services in three separate buildings for nearly 1,600 youth and adults with a wide variety of diagnoses. The agency seeks to fully integrate its care and provide modern, therapeutic facilities for its clients.

Ninety-four percent of those participating in the philanthropic planning study said they believe the programs CACS provides are very important in meeting the needs of the community.

Jodie Nolan of Paul J. Strawhecker, Inc., lead consultant for the study, reported a high level of appreciation and respect for the agency overall. “I was impressed by what people had to say regarding the board and staff leadership of Capital Area Counseling Service,” she said.

The study determined there is regional support of a new facility for CACS. The majority of participants felt that the agency’s current facilities are not adequate or desirable for providing treatment.

Participants also had questions about the need for mental health services in central South Dakota.

The following national trends in mental illness and addictions point to the critical need for competent professional treatment services to be available in every community.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness:

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—10 million, or 4.2%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.

According to a 2013 National Institute on Drug Abuse study:

  • An estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—9.4 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug in the past month.
  • Drug use is increasing among people in their fifties and early sixties. This increase is, in part, due to the aging of the baby boomers, whose rates of illicit drug use have historically been higher than those of previous generations.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Prescription drugs, especially opioid analgesics—a class of prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and methadone used to treat both acute and chronic pain—have increasingly been implicated in drug overdose deaths over the last decade.
  • Heroin-related deaths have also increased sharply, more than tripling since 2010. In 2014, more than 10,500 people died from heroin.

An announcement regarding a new facility for CACS will be made once the planning stage nears completion.

Established in 1995, Paul J. Strawhecker, Inc. is a regional, comprehensive consulting firm for nonprofit organizations. The firm offers services in the many facets of fundraising and nonprofit management, including planned giving and major gifts, annual giving, philanthropic planning studies and capital campaigns, grant writing, public relations and marketing, strategic planning and board development.



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