Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch joins community leaders in discussing mental health initiatives and needs for Hoosiers
During a Friday afternoon press briefing, community leaders dedicated to providing mental health services and furthering mental health discussions were joined by Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch to discuss Hoosiers’ mental wellbeing and the means to continue addressing Hoosiers’ needs. The press conference took place after a community roundtable discussion with area leaders, each providing unique perspectives and industry expertise.
“The state of Indiana, with the leadership of our state legislators, are working effortlessly to hear from our communities and make well-rounded, state-wide changes and implement protocols and resources that further serve our Hoosiers,” Crouch said. “It is legislation and leaders within your own communities, such as each of you, who will find ways to decrease our suicide rates, provide support for those with addiction and help those who need our help.”
Today, one out of five Hoosiers is facing a mental health challenge or fighting addiction. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, each year, one in six youth between the age of 6 to 17 experience a mental health disorder. Nationally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among individuals 10 to 34 and Indiana ranks third out of 36 states in the percentage of students who have seriously considered suicide, according to Indiana Youth Institute.
Mike Frey, a resident from Sullivan County who recently lost his son Cade to suicide, joined the dialogue.
“Conversations about well-being and mental health must be normalized,” states Frey. “Breaking the barriers, finding alternative outlets for help and providing accessible resources for everyone must be prioritized. Mental health and suicide meet no stranger. Together, we need to work together make sure no one experiences this kind of loss and no one feels hopeless enough to end their life.”
Since COVID-19, suicide rates have increased, and the mental health crisis of our time has escalated. Harsha Behavioral Center, a freestanding acute care hospital located in Terre Haute, Indiana, is at the forefront of these conversations.
“At Harsha Behavioral Center, we take some of the most severe mental health cases in the state,” stated Roopam Harshawat, CEO and President. “We will continue to serve those mental health needs and are committed to providing our community with resources and to help educate individuals so they can seek help before an individual faces crisis. I am glad we had this discussion and would like to encourage each member of our community to be open to such discussions so the stigma attached to mental health can be lifted.”
This event served as a learning and networking opportunity for those in West Central Indiana who are making efforts to positively impact these statistics. Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch emphasized that the mental health of Hoosiers is a priority of her and Governor Eric Holcomb.
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