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Homicides, depression among top priorities in Marion County health assessment

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 11, 2014)-- The Marion County Health Department released its 2014 health assessment, showing homicide numbers and depression are among some of the top concerns to tackle.

The report found homicide is the leading cause of death for ages 18 to 34. Black males are at the highest risk. The study shows they are six to 13 times more likely to die from homicide than white males.  Homicides are now being treating as a public health concern.

"Obviously it is a health epidemic at this time. It saddens me this is happening in our community. We are going to work together to address this as a community. It's going to take all of us putting our differences aside coming together and figuring out how to get to the bottom of this," said City County Council President Maggie Lewis.

Another alarming area was the amount of people who reported being depressed. One in five adults and one in ten children have been medically diagnosed with depression in Marion County. St. Vincent Licensed Clinical Social Worker Mandy Grella says she wasn't surprised by the findings.

"I would say it's reflective of what we're seeing in the hospitals, in the emergency rooms as mental health professional. In the last year we've had just a local epidemic of suicides. Lots of suicides and an increased need for mental health resources," said Grella.

The depression numbers translate to suicides being a leading cause of death in 12 to 24-year-olds.

The county recognizes it is described as an under served area for mental health services.

Other hot button issues include childhood obesity and poverty. To take a look at the complete study and get involved in the improvement plan click here