New Alternatives for Young Adults

Mental illness at any stage of life can be difficult to manage, but it can be debilitating for young adults who
have minimal or no family involvement, adult guidance or support system in place. To help young adults, ages 18 to 21, learn to manage their severe mental illness and interact in their community, LSS began New Alternatives through a partnership with the SD Department of Social Services.

“Young adults who come to New Alternatives have completed their high school education or they are close to
being done with school. They need to learn life skills,” says Sheila Johnson, program director. “We help clients gain the knowledge and confidence to obtain community resources, manage their illnesses and live more effectively.”

Severe mental illness can significantly impair judgment, behavior and the ability to cope with basic demands of life. New Alternatives utilizes a relationship-based approach to meet the needs of clients and bridge the gap between youth-oriented services and the adult mental health system. New Alternatives provides housing, case management, nursing care and medication management. New Alternatives partners with Behavior Management Systems for the provision of counseling and psychiatry services.

“This is a pivotal point in their lives,” says Sheila. “It is so important that they learn to trust good resources and to know others care.” Learn more about New Alternatives on our website, call 605-791-2405 or email

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