By Mark Ambrogi
Community Health Network Foundation has launched its year-end campaign for suicide prevention among Indiana youth and teenagers.
The campaign will support Community’s Zero Suicide Initiative, the nonprofit health system’s ambitious goal to achieve a zero percent suicide incident rate among patients in the next 10 years.
The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation has offered a $100,000 Matching Challenge, meaning that every dollar donated on the way to reaching $100,000 will double.
“From now until the end of December, Community Health Network Foundation will focus on supporting the Zero Suicide Initiative and doing all we can to raise awareness of this important cause,” said Bente Weitekamp, vice president of development for the foundation. “With the generosity of Eli Lilly and Company Foundation’s Matching Challenge, the support of Hoosiers and the expertise of Community’s behavioral health team, this effort will help to change and save lives.”
Support received for the year-end effort will aid Community’s behavioral health services for youth and teens in the community including: providing mental health and substance abuse services to students in the school environment in more than 80 sites for Indianapolis Public Schools and the Metropolitan School Districts of Lawrence, Warren, Washington and Wayne townships; implementing and expanding Community’s suicide prevention and early intervention programs, including its 24-hour toll-free Crisis Line; training staff and volunteers to detect and assist youth who are at risk; and continuing the “Text to Help” program, available by texting “HELPNOW” to 20121, so a teen in trouble can communicate with a health services professional.
Indiana has the second-highest rate of high school students attempting suicide. Nationally, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for youth ages 15 to 24, and the third-leading cause for youth ages 10 to 14.
“Our financial goal is to raise as much as we can by the end of 2015 to combat the issue of youth and teen suicide,” said Bridget Cleveland, the foundation’s development communications coordinator. “Suicide is an issue that affects far too many families in our state. As Central Indiana’s largest provider of behavioral health services, Community Health Network’s behavioral health experts work each and every day to change that. This effort is all about supporting that work to save and change lives.”