According to the Indiana State Department of Health, suicide has been the second-leading cause of death for youth ages 15 to 24 in Indiana since 2009. Reports show that in 2015, 49 of Indiana’s 92 counties had at least one young person die by suicide.
To raise awareness and decrease the number of youth suicides in Indiana, lawmakers supported a new policy that will require school staff to receive youth-suicide awareness and prevention training. Providing evidence-based suicide prevention and intervention training to school employees will help identify individuals who may be contemplating taking their own life and help them get treatment.
Here are highlights of other new laws benefiting the wellbeing of Hoosiers all over the state:
Fighting Cervical Cancer: According to the Indiana Cancer Consortium, approximately 250 new cervical cancer cases and 86 cervical cancer-related deaths occur annually among Hoosier women. This new measure tasks the Indiana State Department of Health with developing a statewide strategic plan to attack this problem. The department must work to identify barriers to cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment, while also developing public and private partnerships to increase cervical cancer awareness and recommend actions to reduce the number of Hoosier deaths associated with the disease.
Helping Epilepsy Patients: A new measure giving Hoosiers with treatment-resistant epilepsy the option to use cannabidiolas an alternative therapy should provide relief to many desperate patients. CBD oil is derived from industrial hemp, cannot be used as a recreational drug and has shown promise in treating the symptoms of severe epilepsy.
Expanding Addiction Treatment: Indiana is facing high levels of illegal drug abuse. According to a recent report, nearly a third of mothers who gave birth at one Indiana hospital tested positive for illegal drugs last year. This new law includes neonatal abstinence syndrome as a condition for determining if a newborn child is in need of services will help them receive immediate addiction treatment.
Follow #NewIndianaLaws on social media and our blog series for more highlights of laws enacted this legislative session.