Major Mental Illness

At any given time, over five percent of the adult population in the U.S. will experience a mental illness so pressing it will interfere with their ability to function. About half of these people have a serious, long-term illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or serious anxiety disorders. These are grave illnesses, but they are treatable.

Common Treatment Areas

What is Major Mental Illness?

Major mental illnesses are medical conditions that disorder a person's thoughts, feelings, dispositions, and capabilities to relate to others and function on a daily basis. They are not the result of individual weakness, insufficient character, or underprivileged upbringing, but a medical condition affecting the brain and impairing a person’s social, emotional, and cognitive function. Fortunately, treatment of major mental illnesses at this degree is entirely possible, and most battling a serious mental illness can find liberation from their symptoms with a professionally led treatment plan.

Our Services

At Behavior Management Systems, we provide treatment services for Severe and Persistent Mental Illness through our CARE and IMPACT-West programs.


CARE and IMPACT-West clients must meet the following criteria established by the State of South Dakota Department of Social Services – Division of Community Behavioral Health Services to receive treatment for mental illness.

Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI)

The individual's severe and persistent emotional, behavioral, or psychological disorder has resulted in at least one of the following:

  • Psychiatric treatment of major mental illness more intensive than outpatient care and more than once in a lifetime (e.g., emergency services, alternative residential living, or inpatient hospitalization)
  • A single episode of psychiatric hospitalization with an Axis I and/or Axis II diagnosis
  • Psychotropic medication maintained for at least one year
  • Frequent crisis contacts with a mental health center for more than six months as a result of a persistent psychiatric illness

Services available at Behavior Management Systems for all of our programs listed below may include psychiatric medication management, individual therapy, co-occurring and chemical dependency services, family support and education, advocacy and education about community resources, multiple group opportunities, and education and support on activities of daily living.

Mainstream Transitional Living

Mainstream Transitional Living is a voluntary mental health transitional home for SPMI clients. At the home, medication trained staff assists residents 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Case Management is available 5 days per week. This program develops a daily structure, encourages medication compliance and stabilization, and facilitates independent living skills.

IMPACT-West (Individualized and Mobile Program for Assertive Community Treatment)

This mental health program follows an evidence-based practice that provides comprehensive, community-based, highly individualized services to SPMI clients with the highest needs.

CARE (Continuous Assistance, Rehabilitation, and Education)

The CARE program is a less intensive recovery-based program providing services to adult SPMI clients. These client-centered, strength -based services are available in the office, at the client’s home, or in the community.

PATH Team (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness)

This program offers recovery-based treatment of major mental illness for adults who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and struggle with mental illness.

Employment Options

This program is a service employment program that specializes in assisting people with a mental illness in obtaining and maintaining employment. Services include pre-employment training, job search assistance, easy phone access to an employment specialist, and an employment skills program providing on-the-job training hours to build skills and relationships (at no cost to the employer).

Representative Payee Services

In collaboration with the client, this service manages Social Security benefits to ensure that basic needs for shelter, food, and clothing are met. Education for independent budgeting may also be provided.

What’s Next?

Don’t let major mental illness become the defining factor in your life or in the life of someone you love. Contact Behavior Management Systems to begin on the road towards a happy and healthy future. Referrals and inquiries are handled through our receptionist staff—they can be reached by calling the office nearest you.

Contact BMS

Behavior Management Systems is a non-profit community mental health organization providing outpatient services to children, families, adults, and seniors. BMS does not discriminate against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or age. We accept most major insurance plans.

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