State Rep. Wendy McNamara Authors Bill that Would Help Prevent Youth Suicides

To help save young lives, Indiana state lawmakers are working on a new piece of legislation that would give educators more tools to address youth suicide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released results from a survey that showed one out of every five high school students in Indiana has seriously considered committing suicide.

According to the Indiana Youth Institute, the leading cause of child and young adult deaths in Indiana are accidents, typically motor vehicle accidents, followed by homicide and suicide.

Recently, Indiana House Republicans passed a proposal, authored by State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville), that would require certain school employees to participate in at least two hours of evidence-based, inservice youth suicide awareness and prevention training every couple of years.

Educators interact with students every day, and providing them with training on how to identify students who are contemplating suicide can help save lives.

Suicidal thoughts and depression are not always easy to diagnose and spot, especially to the untrained.

In 2014, there were 119 children aged 15 to 24 and nine kids aged 5 to 14 who died from suicide in Indiana.

According to the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Hoosier high school students are more likely than their peers nationally to have been treated by a medical professional as a result of a suicide attempt in 2014.

McNamara says, “It is our job to protect our kids, and we typically do all we can to keep them out of harm’s way. But too many of Indiana’s youths are struggling with mental health issues, and we should be taking the steps to ensure they get the help they need.”

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America notes these symptoms of depression:

  • loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • insomnia
  • early-morning awakening or oversleeping
  • restlessness
  • irritability

To learn more about anxiety and depression, click here.
 


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