Beverly Froslie Johnson

What is the story related to mental health, suicide, and/or resilience that you’d like to share?

My son has autism and many other mental health diagnoses. He’s been in and out of multiple mental health facilities. Including spending 18 months in a PRTF (psychiatric residential treatment facility) in Salt Lake City. Our story was told in the Argus Leader in 2019: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2019/02/07/south-dakota-mental-health-jail-system/2701616002/

I was also able to get a law changed so children wouldn’t have to go through what my son did to get the help he needed. So far that law has been instrumental in getting the children the help they needed and successfully integrating students back to their home school.

What resources have helped you to address this challenge?

DHS, Dept of Labor, ACLU, SFSD with Kristy Feden



Think about the system that affects our mental health in our society, including aspects that are damaging to mental health and aspects of the system that improve mental health. Based on your experience, how might we improve that system to build resilience and better address the mental health needs of ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities?

The whole mental health system needs to be revamped. Departments need to work together and communicate. More training needs to be done with our police department and educational systems. SD needs facilities with experienced and well-trained staff for people/kids in crisis. Also, laws need to be changed and new ones passed.

What is one thing related to mental health, suicide, or resilience that you wish everyone could understand?

Show empathy and compassion. Never give up. In life, you will have pain whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental. Never give up. It will get better, and once you get through it, it’s the best feeling in the world that you overcame whatever you went through.