INDIANAPOLIS— Yesterday, the Indiana Youth Institute presented their State of the Child Kickoff at the Statehouse. Their annual report found that children around the state are facing higher rates of stress, anxiety, and depression, and much of the state does not have sufficient access to mental health providers like social workers and psychologists. State Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) serves as the Ranking Minority Member on the Senate Family and Children Services Committee and the Senate Education and Career Development Committee, and he offered the following statement:

“Student mental health is a crisis in our state, and it has been for years now. It is crushing that student suicide is the leading cause of death for kids ages 10 to 14 and the second leading cause of death for ages 15 to 17. To put this in perspective, more than 27% of High School students have seriously considered suicide, 22% have made a plan about attempting suicide, and more than 11% have attempted suicide.”

“The General Assembly needs to act boldly to address this crisis. The passage of SB 1 was a good start to building out mental health infrastructure, but our budget needs to fully fund those resources, including the 988 system. Additionally, we need to fully fund the Governor’s Public Health request at $300 million over two years, which will help improve community and school-based mental and physical healthcare. Hoosier kids need help and we need to listen.”