Meet us Mondays!!

Meet us Monday’s is a special feature showcasing a different Helpline Center staff.  

Today we introduce ­­­­Dr. Barbara Bettelyoun, Suicide Prevention Director 

Tell us About Yourself: I have dual US citizenship as an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Born in Michigan, I earned a BA from the University of Michigan, and MS and dual Doctorate (Ph.D.) degrees from the University of Minnesota in Child Clinical Psychology. For the past 20 years I have worked in various capacities on issues of historical trauma, childhood traumas, and developed self-help curriculum for underserved populations to address underlying causes of addictions, depression, and suicidality, both as president of a SD non-profit and forensic interviewer in Minneapolis. I am married, have 10 wonderful adult children and 4 happy, healthy grandgirls.

What is your role at The Helpline Center and how long have you worked there? Currently I serve as Director of Suicide Prevention. For the year prior I worked as a call specialist in the Call Center of the Helpline Center.

What do you enjoy most about your work at The Helpline Center? The Helpline Center staff is an amazing group of compassionate, supportive professionals who are passionate about our work and pull together every day as a team to strive to do the best possible to serve our communities across the State of South Dakota. I consider myself fortunate to work with such a great group of people whom I genuinely enjoy!

Tell us the most interesting fact about yourself: I have traveled to all but 3 states, across 4 continents, and once spent 5 weeks in Turkey hiking the ancient underground cities of Cappadocia.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work? My husband Francis and I are renovating a 110-year old farmhouse in a small farming community of about 150 people and enjoy collecting record albums. I’m an avid cook and baker and enjoy using produce we grow ourselves. Gardening and maintaining a fruit and nut orchard keep me busy when I’m not working, but my greatest passion is spending time with my 4 grandgirls, all under 3 years of age!

People would be surprised if they knew? In my teens and 20’s I held several interesting and diverse jobs as a young mom: fudge shop clerk; hair model; corporate president; and 9-1-1 dispatcher– in that order!      

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