mental health

The Indiana Commission On Improving the Status of Children is working to tackle one part of the shortage of mental health providers.

Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy executive director Cathleen Graham says the shortage of professionals comes from a number of factors: Indiana has almost doubled the number of children in the welfare system and the opioid epidemic contributed to longer stays in the system while parents and guardians get sober.

A record number of stakeholders from around Indiana met to learn about the state’s progress and challenges in the field of mental health and addiction.

Indiana’s annual Mental Health Symposium began 20 years ago. Indiana University Institute of Psychiatric Research director John Nurnberger helped organize from the start. He says while there’s greater mental health awareness in Indiana – stigma is still a major barrier.

A national campaign argues more Americans need to change their perceptions of mental illness and suicide. Many central Indiana cities, colleges, businesses and nonprofits are now part of that partnership.

Mental Health America reports, in 2015, more Hoosiers died by suicide than in car accidents. And one in five Hoosiers has experienced a mental illness.

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Indiana lawmakers are proposing a pilot program that looks to expand mental health treatment for opioid-addicted Hoosiers. But it’s unclear whether local providers are up for the challenge.

The proposed pilots would require the State’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services to contract with local health providers in Tippecanoe, Wayne and Marion Counties to offer evidence-based treatment—inpatient, outpatient and residential—to addicted adults at serious risk of injury or death.

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Jennifer Flora has seen first-hand how difficult it can be for people to receive mental health treatment in Indiana. Flora says the nonprofit organization in whose Tippecanoe County office she works, Mental Health America, fields an average of 20 calls a week from people considering suicide — and sometimes she can’t connect them with the doctors they need.

“We’ve provided a lot of referrals to folks,” she says, “and we’re seeing those referrals more and more difficult to provide.”

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A new study from the nonprofit Mental Health America puts Indiana 45th in the nation when it comes to mental health care.

The survey gauges achievement in 15 different metrics, including the percentage of adults and children who report mental illness, the number of adults with dependence or abuse of drugs or alcohol and number of adults with a disability who can’t afford to see a doctor.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

One of the biggest issues in this year’s race for the Indiana House of Representatives District 26 seat may be how to improve the state’s education system.

In the first debate of the race Thursday, Democratic candidate Vicky Woeste said the state needs to reject what she calls the ALEC-driven education agenda, referring to the conservative group which drafts right-leaning legislation for statehouses across the country.

Woeste says she wants to restore public school funding, noting the West Lafayette School Corporation has asked for referendum funding due to cuts.

Indiana University

Latino teens demonstrate higher levels of stress, depression and suicidal thoughts than any other school-age demographic in the state.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Jill Sheridan reports on one Indiana summer camp that aims to address this problem.  

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Indiana has the second-highest percentage in the nation of children who have a parent who’s been incarcerated. A new study shows this can have long lasting effects on a child’s wellness.

According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, 11-percent of Hoosier children have a parent who has been incarcerated.  A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation highlights the impact that time behind bars has on children.

Associate Professor at IU School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children Pediatric Dr. Matthew Aalsma, says the report is a valuable tool.

Jill Sheridan

As the discussion about Hoosiers facing mental health issues evolves, one problem frequently mentioned is a lack of support systems.  

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Jill Sheridan reports on one of these support systems, Clubhouse, a rehabilitation center that is working to reestablish state Medicaid funding.

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