Olthoff’s youth suicide prevention bill advances

Posted by: Brenda Holmes and Allison Vanatsky  | Tuesday, February 7, 2017

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 7, 2017) — The House Committee on Education today advanced State Rep. Julie Olthoff’s (R-Crown Point) proposal that would require school employees to attend or participate in two hours of youth-suicide awareness and prevention training every two years.

“This bill is patterned after the Jason Flatt Act,” Olthoff said. “Jason Flatt was a student and sports lover who committed suicide at age 16. His father started a foundation and later helped create the act that was first adopted in Tennessee in 2007. It has now been passed by 19 states in all, and I hope to add Indiana to that list.”

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, in 2014 there were 119 individuals age 15-24 who committed suicide. In 2015, the number was up to 129 for the same age range. Lake and Marion counties lead the state for the highest suicide rate.

The law would require at least two hours of youth suicide awareness and prevention training for each teacher, administrator, counselor, nurse and specialist who provides services to students every two years. The training will qualify for professional development credits.

The bill now moves to the full House for further discussion. For more information on Olthoff’s bill, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Julie Olthoff represents House District 19,

which includes a portions of Lake and Porter counties.

 

A high-resolution photo of Olthoff can be downloaded by clicking here.