Advocates Push to Reduce Indiana's Teen Suicide Rate

Feb 17, 2015

A new report says Indiana’s rate of teenagers considering suicide in the last year is the worst in the nation.  And the rate of Hoosier teenagers attempting suicide is second highest in the country. 

Now, suicide prevention advocates are working to make inroads at the Statehouse, preparing lawmakers to deal with the issue.

Lisa Brattain got involved with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention about eight years ago after she lost her son to suicide.  She says her call to action came from looking at the organized efforts to combat illnesses such as breast cancer and heart disease. 

Brattain says much of her work since then has focused on building an informed community.

“That can have a healthy conversation about mental health and suicide so that it’s not stigmatized and difficult to talk about,” Brittain says.

And while conversation among legislators surrounding the need for more mental health resources often has to do with helping treat addiction, Brattain acknowledges some of the root causes of the state’s high suicide rates play into that issue.

“Because of lack of resources or lack of supports or inability to access insurance or the funds to pay for treatment,” Brittain says.

Brattain adds while her organization doesn’t have legislation to promote this session, she’s hoping the efforts made this year to educate lawmakers will pay dividends when there are more specific policy proposals in the near future.