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Suicide Steadily Rising in Indiana

The number of Hoosiers who have committed suicide each year has steadily increased since 2006.

National suicide prevention supporter paints a yellow ribbon on his hand.

Photo: Jared Keener

Yellow ribbons are used to show support and spread awareness for national suicide prevention.

The number of Hoosiers committing suicide is steadily increasing, with 872 Hoosiers who committed suicide in 2011 according to a report from the State Department of Health.

It’s hit Indiana’s younger population particularly hard. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Hoosiers age 15 to 24 and third leading cause of death for 10 to 14 year olds.

State health officials say there’s a wide range of potential causes.

Indiana State Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Joan Duwve says the state can educate communities and work to provide mental health resources. But she says trying to prevent suicide needs to be done largely on the individual level.

“Start the conversation,” Duwve says. “Listen without judging and then reassure the person that, you know, ‘You’re not alone and I can help you.  Let me help you get help at a mental health center or let me take you to an emergency department or let’s call the suicide hotline together.”

Duwve says warning signs include changes in behavior such as a sudden drop in grades or poor performance at work, losing interest in almost all activities and withdrawing from friends and family.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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