When you have a platform, make the most of it. Mrs. South Dakota is doing just that as Shannon Rook is using her position to talk about mental illness.

Rook’s relationship to mental illness is a personal one as she suffered through an eating disorder as a teenager. She discusses her experience with candor and knows that support from her family and friends proved vital in her recovery.

Many times parents who discover that their children are suffering from mental illness want to know how to handle the situation. Rook encourages parents to investigate first without jumping to conclusions. Ask teachers and physicians about your children because if something is wrong, they can help shed light on the situation or confirm a premonition.

Mrs. South Dakota Advises Parents of Children Who Battle Mental Illness

Rook is a teacher in the Sioux Falls School District and her emphasis is Special Education. She is uniquely placed to give advice about autism which has been in the spotlight with regard to guns. Rook says people can overreact when a tragedy happens. However, children who suffer from autism need support from many levels.

Mrs. South Dakota Stands Up For Autistic Children

Rook will continue her reign through September 15 when a new Mrs. South Dakota will be crowned at the Orpheum in Downtown Sioux Falls.