Governor Eric Holcomb recently signed into law a bill seeking to decrease youth suicides in Indiana.
The bill was brought forward by Republican state lawmaker Julie Olthoff, who wants this epidemic to be addressed.
“It is the number two leading causing of death for our Hoosier teens age 15-24,” explains Olthoff.
The new law includes a number of provisions to help school employees identify young Hoosiers who may be contemplating suicide.
“This new law will require awareness training for our teachers and health care providers, it also requires universities to provide suicide prevention program materials,” says Olthoff. “It allows the state to then hire a suicide prevention program coordinator to be a resource to all of us.”
Nearly half of Indiana’s counties had at least one young person die by suicide in 2015. Olthoff hopes the new law will reduce this number.
“Suicide is preventable,” she says. “If we can identify people who are considering suicide, we can help bring hope to them.”
The legislation will go into effect July 1.