Advocates to Be the Voice for Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention in Indianapolis


Published on February 15, 2019

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and in Indiana. On Tuesday, February 19, advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will arrive at the state capitol to meet with lawmakers to encourage them to prioritize mental health and suicide prevention initiatives for Indiana youth, including support of SB 284/HB 1231 prohibiting the use of conversion therapy or sexual orientation change therapy with minors, and SB 266 requiring mental health education for students in grades 6-12 and providing for integrated school based mental health and substance use disorder services grants.

“The reason advocating for suicide prevention within the state of Indiana is so important is that it provides the opportunity to spread education and awareness about suicide and its impact on communities. Suicide is preventable, and we can achieve this with education and awareness, therefore I speak up and out for those that aren’t able. Education is power, and power can prevent suicide,” said Donna Sadler, AFSP Indiana Chapter volunteer and Field Advocate.

The AFSP Indiana State Capitol Day is a special day for all who have a connection with or a personal story around the topic of suicide. Volunteers will meet with their state legislators and share their stories about why they participate in this advocacy effort, giving a human face to this important health problem. Advocates hope that by sharing their stories, they will help legislators understand that state investments in mental health and suicide prevention can save lives.

AFSP Indiana Chapter advocates are part of a larger national movement of AFSP volunteer advocates who will be visiting over 40 state capitols across the United States in 2019 to bring best practices in suicide prevention to state legislators and their staff. To learn more about AFSP’s advocacy efforts, visit here: https://afsp.org/our-work/advocacy/.

On average, one hundred twenty-nine (129) Americans died by suicide each day in 2017, and 90% of those individuals had a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their death. AFSP volunteers will urge state lawmakers to be the voice for the thousands of Hoosiers affected by suicide each year.