Duane Kavanaugh

Duane Kavanaugh, MS, NCC, CCMHC, LPC-MH, QMHP



My name is Duane Kavanaugh, NCC, CCMHC, LPC-MH, QMHP, I am pleased to submit my name for the Director at Large position on the AMHCA board.  I feel that my experience clinically, administratively and as a member of both AMHCA and SDMHCA and with the One AMHCA task force provides me with the skills and experience needed to serve in this position. Additionally, the perspective of a small state representee can benefit AMHCA. 

I have more 30 years of experience in the field of mental health counseling including individual, family, couples, group, and school-based services.  I served on a number of boards that include counseling and community boards from youth soccer to our church,

I am currently Director or Counseling at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, a top STEM schools in the country.  I along with the staff have transformed the program from a brief counseling office to a full mental health center.  We have increased access and use of the center.  In this school year have seen an addition 200 students request services: on a campus of 2400. 

Prior to SDSMT I served as Director of Behavioral Health for Lutheran Social Services for 5 years.  In that time, we able to implement, Telehealth Counseling, develop two Functional Family Therapy teams, move to an Electronic Health Record and increase our budget from $2 million to $3 Million annually.  During this time, I have provider supervision and direct client services.

I currently serve as President of the South Dakota Counselor Association. South Dakota continues to have an umbrella organization that works with ALL counselors to assure that the profession is appropriately represented in legislation, regulations and in the view of the community at large. 

As President of the SDMHCA we worked to block legislation, limiting confidentiality to school counselors, bathroom bills, anti-LGBQIA and bills that had a direct impact on the counseling field.  Additionally, were able to work with our licensing board to update of the Practice Act Code. 

I have served as an Adjunct instructor at Northern State University and South Dakota School of Mines and I am a presenter at regional conferences. 


If elected to this position I would work with board on the following.

  • Work with the AMHCA build a stronger national organization to the needs of its members, a closer national/state alliance, and a strong financial base.
  • Secure Medicare coverage for counselors
  • Build a closer collegial relationship with all branches of counseling.




Mavis Kempt Mentorship Award                                                        2011

SD Counselor of the Year                                                                   2013

Howard B. Smith Distinguished Services Award                                 2019

Community involvement

Current President South Dakota Counselor Association (SDCA)

A Past President of SDMHCA                                                             2016-19

President Northeastern Chapter of SDCA                                          

President Groton SD Soccer Association

2nd President of the South Dakota Soccer Association (High School Soccer Commissioner) 

Assistant Boys Varsity Soccer Coach                                                   2005-09

Girls Varsity Soccer Coach                                                                  2012-13