EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT)- A national mental health crisis is a topic inherently uneasy to talk about, but it’s one that Riley Children’s Hospital is fighting to bring to light.

One in four families are affected by suicide and it’s the 2nd leading cause of death among young people in Indiana. Statistics show— everyone knows someone who struggles with mental health. Gil Peri, the president of Riley Children’s Hospital, says, “this is not subtle, it doesn’t discriminate, this is across the board”. Mayor Lloyd Winnecke shares, “the friends of ours who lost an adult daughter by suicide”.

Riley Hospital has partnered with 220 stakeholders from across the state, including government officials, healthcare providers, etc., to bring awareness to mental health, and to create a plan to stimulate change. Part of that plan is a documentary, “Racing to Respond”. Peri says, “we traveled throughout the whole state, talking to different professionals, and two families, who were courageous enough to share their stories. One of whom is here tonight to participate in our panel”.

Randy and Angie Eugenio—the parents of Tate— who died by suicide at 19 years old— traveled to Evansville to explain the importance of the work they’re doing following their tragedy. The Eugenios tell us, “We want to help other kids with mental health issues get the help that they need that our son perhaps did not get and prevent other tragedies like ours from happening with other kids”.

Riley is in search of 20,000 people to commit to being a Riley Child Health Champion. Peri explains, “this is a way for us to stay connected, to find ways that people can advocate….this is a call to action”.

Click https://rileykids.org/ to learn more.