Indianapolis suicide prevention advocates take their message to Washington

INDIANAPOLIS – Advocates with the Indiana chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are in Washington this week, along with others from across the country, meeting with members of Congress and stressing the importance of funding for suicide prevention efforts, research and mental health resources.

The meetings come less than a week after Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain both took their own lives and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report showing the suicide rate in Indiana increased 32 percent between 1999 to 2016.

“Congress must commit to strategic investments in suicide research,” a policy form by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention stated. “Investments in other major public health concerns, including Cancer, Alzheimer’s and HIV/AIDS have resulted in significant reductions in mortality.”

Nationally the organization is pushing for a $150 million down payment for suicide prevention research within the National Institute of Mental Health, maintaining military and veteran suicide prevention efforts along with increased funding for mental health and substance abuse services.

“It is so important because we need additional funding,” Tammy Lundy said, who lost her daughter to suicide eight years ago. “We need Congress to stand up and they need to look at mental health issues as the national crisis that it is right now.”

Lundy’s daughter Nicole took her own life when she was 20. Since then she’s been an advocate for prevention efforts. She helps organize events like the Indianapolis Ride to Fight Suicide on June 24 and the Out of the Darkness Indianapolis Walk on Sept. 15.

RESOURCES

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is staffed 24/7.

Call 1-800-273-8255.

Free and confidential support is available.

Crisis intervention specialists with Families First in Indianapolis help answer calls.

People can also text CSIS to 839863 to speak with specialists at Families First.

Volunteers are also always needed. Click here for more information.