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'Slim' Access To Resources To Prevent Youth Suicides In Indiana

Photo by Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media.
Members of the commission include state lawmakers, Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush and state health officials.

Indiana's Commission on Improving the Status of Children met Wednesday morning to discuss a wide range of issues, including suicide prevention. 

State officials painted a grim picture of suicides among Indiana’s youth. The rising rates of suicide -- and thoughts of suicide -- are already among the highest in the country. 

Division of Mental Health and Addiction official Leslie Hulvershorn says Indiana has effective ways to prevent youth suicides, but children and teens might have a hard time getting those services.

"We just find that access to those interventions in our state is vanishingly slim," Hulvershorn says. "On the textbook they exist but when you go to try to find places to get some of those specific interventions it’s very hard to find them." 

Officials noted a rise in overdoses as a means of youth suicide. 

The commission will continue to study the problem of youth suicide, and approved moving the issue to a new subcommittee.

This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media, a news collaborative covering public health

Carter is a reporter for Side Effects Public Media and WFYI in Indianapolis. She can be reached at