Olthoff’s youth suicide prevention bill signed into law

Posted by: Brenda Holmes  | Friday, April 28, 2017

STATEHOUSE (April 28, 2017) — Gov. Eric Holcomb recently signed into law a proposal authored by State Rep. Julie Olthoff (R-Crown Point) to decrease the number of youth suicides in Indiana.

“My hope with this law is to prevent suicides by raising awareness,” Olthoff said. “It breaks my heart to hear stories about people losing hope and giving up, especially young people. A statewide coordinator will be the key to disseminating resources to parents, schools, counselors, first respondents and the medical community. It will take all of us working together to say suicide is not the answer.”

In 2015, suicide was the fourth-leading cause of death for youth under the age of 14 and the second-leading cause of death for youth ages 15 to 24 in Indiana since 2009, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. Reports show that in 2015, 49 of Indiana’s 92 counties had at least one young person die by suicide.

“These numbers are unacceptable, we need something to change to help today’s youth,” Olthoff said.

According to the Indiana Youth Institute, the leading cause of child and young adult deaths in Indiana are accidents, typically motor vehicle accidents, followed by homicide and suicide.

House Enrolled Act 1430 includes several provisions:

  • Requires training for school staff on youth suicide;
  • Creates a state suicide prevention coordinator;
  • Develops training for healthcare providers;
  • Requires schools to create policies and student education on suicide; and
  • Requires public and private higher education institutions to develop and implement policies to advise students and staff on suicide prevention programs.

Providing evidence-based suicide prevention and intervention training to school staff members will help identify those individuals who may be contemplating self-injury.

For more information on this new law, 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.