How Northeast Indiana is Shining Light on Mental Health

The Regional Mental Health Coalition of Northeast Indiana (RMHCNI) was recently featured in Business People Magazine for the collaboration and work being done to improve mental health in Northeast Indiana.  The feature provided statistics and awareness of September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness month and National Recovery month.

Kristina Johnson, Chair of the Leadership Council of RMHCNI, writes:

“Indiana is in crisis. One in five Indiana adults (20.6%) experienced a mental health condition in the past year. Nearly one in 10 Hoosier children (9.2%) have lived with someone who was mentally ill, suicidal, or severely depressed, compared to 7.8% nationally. In  2016, more than half (52.2%) of children removed from their home by the Indiana Department of Child  Services were removed due to parental drug and/or alcohol abuse. Indiana has the 5th highest opioid  abuse rate in the country, with 80 percent of Indiana employers having observed prescription drug  misuse by employees. Indiana ranks 34th in drug deaths. In 2016, there were 1,042 suicides in  Indiana. And, suicide is the second leading cause of death for those aged 15-34 years.

In response to these disturbing trends in mental and behavioral health, The Lutheran Foundation  launched the Regional Mental Health Coalition of Northeast Indiana in March 2016. The goal of the Coalition is to improve mental and behavioral health and wellness in our region.  Guiding the efforts of the Coalition is a 25-member Leadership Council consisting of experts in  their fields who share concern about the trajectory of Northeast Indiana’s mental health crisis.  This collaborative Board serves as an advocacy body and oversees the initiatives of five main work  groups, including: medical, mental health, schools, workplace, and faith.

Together, we can make a difference.”

LookUp was featured as a resource as well as articles submitted on the “Epidemic of Despair” by Dr. Deb McMahan, Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health, and  the work of The Fort Wayne Allen County Task Force for Opioid Strategic Planning (FATOS) by Rachel Blakeman, JD, Purdue-Fort Wayne.

To read the whole feature and for a photo directory of the Leadership Council, download the feature here.


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