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behavioral health

Guiding people with behavioral health needs

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New Start For Women in South Dakota


New Start For Women

Volunteers of America, Dakotas' New Start for Women program is a 24-hour residential program for pregnant and parenting women, and their children who have substance use disorders. New Start provides a safe, structured, therapeutic and staff-secured environment.

New Start for Women provides holistic services for pregnant and parenting women to help them lead healthy and productive lives. Participants gain insight in the following areas:

  • Attaining their high school diploma, GED or specialized skills training
  • Learning parenting, child and self care, independent living, and relationship skills
  • Addressing their Substance use, mental health or legal problems
  • Improving their employability skills
  • Accessing high-quality prenatal, postpartum and well baby care

Volunteers of America, Dakotas provides these comprehensive services to allow participants to gain the information and skills necessary to live a healthy, drug-free, satisfying life and to develop positive parenting practices to care for themselves and their child.

In addition to family therapy, daily phone and visiting hours are available to encourage family involvement from the admission process to aftercare planning.

Volunteers of America Prevention Resources


Southeastern Prevention Resource Center

Volunteers of America Dakota's Southeastern Prevention Resource Center dedicates its efforts to the following:

  • Creating safe families, schools and communities
  • Preventing the misuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
  • Increasing safe driving and passenger safety


PRC Services

"Data Results for Substance Use in South Dakota Among Youth, Young Adults and Adults"

Volunteers of America Diversion Class


Diversion Class

Our diversion classes use the Prime For Life Curriculum which is an evidence-based motivational prevention, intervention and pretreatment program specifically designed for people who may be making high-risk choices. It is designed to change drinking and drug use behaviors by changing beliefs, attitudes, risk perceptions, motivations, and the knowledge of how to reduce their risk of alcohol and drug related problems throughout their lives.

Age Group: 18 to 20 years-old
Program Length: 12 hours

Drivers Safety Program in South Dakota


SD Safe Driver's Class

South Dakota law requires all first-time offenders to complete a 12-hour education intervention program. The objectives of Volunteers of America, Dakota's program include:

  • Participants will not engage in future high-risk substance use, especially driving under the influence.
  • Participants practice responsible decision-making as it applies to alcohol or other drug use.
  • Participants examine the consequences they have experienced as a result of their current arrest.
  • Participants learn accurate information about alcohol and other drug abuse.
  • Participants understand the risks and symptoms associated with alcohol and other drug abuse.
  • Participants examine their own alcohol/other drug use and the factors that affect their current drinking and/or using behavior.
  • Participants weigh the benefits and consequences of past behavior and future change.
  • Participants develop and implement a Personal Change Plan to avoid future problems with alcohol and/or drugs and driving.

​Age Group: 18 and over
Program Length: 12 hours

Adolecent Outpatient Program


Adolescent Outpatient Program

Volunteers of America, Dakotas' adolescent intensive outpatient program is designed to treat adolescents ages 12 to 18 with substance use issues. The program utilizes the Matrix Model for Teens and Young Adults. This is a comprehensive, organized set of evidenced-based therapy.

Getting Help For Substance Abuse


Heisler Substance Abuse

We offer substance use evaluations for adolescents and adults. The evaluation is the first step in determining if the individual needs further assistance with their substance use. Walk-in assessments are available every Wednesday prior to 9 a.m. Assessments are also offered Monday through Friday by appointment.

Chemical Dependency Aftercare Program

The aftercare program focuses on providing continuing care, counseling and support to adolescents and adults who have completed a structured inpatient or outpatient treatment program.

Intensive Outpatient Chemical Dependency Treatment

Intensive outpatient services focus on providing 50 to 60 hours of intensive outpatient treatment over six to seven weeks to adolescents ages 12 to 18 and for adults 18 and up who are harmfully involved with alcohol or other drugs. The program provides individual, group and family counseling and assists the individual in developing the skills necessary to remain substance-free and begin a recovery program.

Inpatient Chemical Dependency Treatment

We work with youth ages 12 to 18 years for up to 60 days. These young people have alcohol or chemical addictions. This involvement causes a negative impact on an adolescent's physical, mental, social, vocational, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development. The chemical dependency treatment program integrates into Volunteers of America, Dakota's residential program.

Here, we provide a developmentally appropriate environment in which youth can internalize and practice knowledge, insight and skills. This environment ensures the best opportunity for a young person's ongoing success. The residential environment also provides the youth opportunity to interact with peers without a treatment focus, just as they would when in the community. Volunteers of America provides each young person with a chemical dependency counselor who develops a comprehensive treatment plan focusing on chemical dependency issues as well as behavioral or mental health issues.

VOA Counseling Services


LifeMarks Counseling

LifeMarks Therapists 

Nicole Burger, M.A., CCDCIII, CPS, LPC
Bruce S. Fogas, Ph.D.
Irina Goubanova, M.S., LPC
Michelle McClintic, MSW, CSW-PIP
Pat Schultz, M.S., LPC-MH
Dawn Soulek, MSW, CSW-PIP
Timothy Soundy, M.D.
Gretchen Starnes, M.A., LPC
Shawn Van Gerpen, M.D.

Learn more about each member of the LifeMarks staff by visiting the Meet Our Lifemarks Team page.

Volunteers of America, Dakotas' LifeMarks' affordable services include assessments, individual and group counseling, mediation, and crisis intervention available to youth, adults, couples and families. Medicaid and most insurances are accepted. A sliding fee scale is available, thanks to the support of United Way.

Counseling Services

LifeMarks Behavioral Health offers skilled professional staff. Clinicians are trained in working with a variety of every day challenges.

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Grief and loss
  • Substance use
  • Physical, sexual and emotional abuse
  • Marital and family issues
  • Divorce
  • Parenting issues
  • Crisis situations
  • Psychological assessments
  • Psychiatric evaluations
  • Medication management
Relationship University


Relationship University

Volunteers of America, Dakotas’ Relationship University aims to strengthen marriages and relationships within the community for individuals and families, of all ages and diversities, through skill-based education. Relationship University offers FREE classes for parents, couples, singles, veterans, at-risk youth, and workplaces. Personal Coaches are available for support and to connect participants to community resources.

Classes offered

  • Meant to Be - couples
  • Within My Reach - single
  • Military Meant to Be - military couples
  • Got Your Back - military singles
  • Walking the Line - criminal justice involved (males)
  • Winning the Workplace Challenge - adults
  • Love Notes  - youth ages 15-24
  • Money Habitudes - youth ages 15-24
  • Love and Logic - parents/educators

Daycare service and transportation are available at no cost to participants. All classes are FREE to participants.