Indiana program aims to prevent youth suicides

(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new Indiana campaign will try to steer depressed young people toward programs that will help prevent them from committing suicide.

A therapist said during Friday’s Statehouse announcement that at least a half-dozen youths in Indiana have killed themselves since the school year began in August. Heartland Intervention founder Scott Watson says most were high school students and about half lived in the Indianapolis area.

The program called “I Need Help” focuses on encouraging teens to use the 2-1-1 referral phone system, making counseling available and training teachers to recognize the signs of suicide risk.

State Sen. Jim Merritt of Indianapolis says society must remove the stigma from mental illness and depression and make young people realize there is still hope when things look hopeless.

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