Suicide Prevention

New suicide prevention training requirements for teachers officially go into effect July 1 as one piece of a statewide plan to increase suicide awareness and prevention.

Indiana has one of the highest teen suicide rates in the country. (Photo courtesy of zerosuicide.sprc.org)
Brandon Smith

The Indiana Commission on Improving the Status of Children wants to help spread a nationally-recognized suicide prevention program to as many health care providers across the state as possible.

This program originally aired on MARCH 20, 2018 on 89.1FM-Lakeshore Public Radio.

GUESTS:  Eric D. Spruth, Ruth Halsted and Emalee Kay  

A law authored by U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) is now implemented throughout the Armed Forces.

The Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act was named after an Indiana National Guard member died from suicide in 2009 while on leave from Afghanistan. Donnelly says the bill, his first as a senator, was based on common sense.

“It recognizes that mental fitness, like physical fitness, is a crucial component of military readiness,” Donnelly says.

Indiana lawmakers want schools to develop more robust suicide prevention policies while teachers get training on the issue.

Rep. Julie Olthoff’s (R-Merrilville) bill requires several new steps to create suicide prevention programs. And Olthoff says the first step is creating a statewide suicide prevention coordinator.

“And then they’ll be able to disseminate information and hopefully prevent them,” Olthoff says.

 

Suicide remains the second-leading cause of death for Hoosier teens and young adults in 2014 and 2015, according to a just released report.

Among a majority of states, Indiana ranks second for high schoolers who made a suicide plan and third for those who have seriously considered suicide.