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PAIMI Brochure

Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI)

Program Brochure

Thumbnail of PAIMI BrochureThe PAIMI Program pursues a variety of rights protection and advocacy strategies to assist individuals with mental illness. Learn more about our services below or by downloading our brochure.

Download the PAIMI Brochure:


PAIMI Brochure Thumbnail

PAIMI: Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness

A federally-funded independent program authorized to safeguard and promote the rights of individuals with mental illness in South Dakota and to investigate specific reports or suspected situations of abuse and neglect in facilities.

Who are we & What do we do?

We are the light in the storm.

  • We protect your rights.
  • We advocate for appropriate services.
  • We investigate abuse and neglect.

See the lists below for some examples of abuse, neglect, and rights violations.


  • rape or sexual assault
  • striking
  • excessive force when placed in restraints
  • involuntary medication
  • verbal abuse


  • inappropriate admission to a residential treatment facility
  • inappropriate discharge planning or release from a facility
  • no adequate food, clothing, or health care
  • unsafe environment

Rights Violation:

  • right to an individualized, written treatment plan or discharge plan
  • right to contact Disability Rights South Dakota for assistance
  • right to mail and phone privacy
  • right to access your records and to keep them confidential

What are the Eligibility Requirements for Services?

The PAIMI Program pursues a variety of rights protection and advocacy strategies to assist individuals with mental illness who meet the following case acceptance criteria:

  1. You must currently have a significant mental illness or emotional impairment as determined by a qualified mental health professional in the state; AND 
  2. You are in the process of being transported or admitted to a facility providing care or treatment; OR 
    You currently are receiving services in a facility providing care or treatment; OR
    You are involuntarily confined in a municipal detention facility for reasons other than serving a sentence for a criminal offense; OR
    You live in a community setting including your own home.

If you are not eligible for case-directed services, PAIMI Program staff will provide information and referral assistance to you.


The PAIMI Program solicits public comment each year and reviews requests for assistance as the basis for staff, Advisory Council members, and the DRSD Governing Board members to establish priorities. The following areas are priorities for the PAIMI Program:

1. Case Services

  • Abuse and Neglect
  • Rights Violations

2. Systems Advocacy

3. Outreach and Training

4. Monitoring Mental Health Facilities and Services

PAIMI Program staff uses administrative, legal, and other appropriate remedies to resolve issues. The program also provides information and referral assistance.

Contact Disability Rights South Dakota (DRSD)

Call 1-800-658-4782 or 605-224-8294. Visit us online at www.drsdlaw.orgYou have a right to access DRSD as your Protection & Advocacy (P&A) System.