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Providing more mental health services for at-risk Hoosiers

Providing more mental health services for at-risk Hoosiers
Providing more mental health services for at-risk Hoosiers
State Rep. Steve Davisson
Viewpoint of State Rep. Steve Davisson

While many of us focus on our physical health, we must also be aware of our mental well-being. The emotional effects of the pandemic are especially difficult for those who are struggling with mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders.

According to Indiana University, nearly 1 in 12 Hoosiers meet the criteria for having a substance-use disorder, which is one of the most significant risk factors for suicidal behavior.

This session, I’m authoring legislation to create a crisis hotline center to help some of our most vulnerable receive the care they need more quickly.

House Bill 1468 would create a 24/7, 988 crisis hotline center for at-risk Hoosiers who may be struggling with their mental health. The hotline center would provide short-term care and maintain a 24/7 national suicide prevention lifeline, providing free and confidential emotional support to people in a suicidal crisis or emotional distress. This resource could offer more real-time responses and help our most vulnerable residents take the first steps to get the care they need.

Currently, one of the options for Hoosiers struggling with their mental health or in emotional distress is to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. It provides free, confidential support and services to people who find themselves in a suicidal crisis or emotional distress, and the national network is composed of more than 180 local crisis centers. While the national hotline is a helpful service, most calls from Indiana are transferred out of the state and only have a 60% chance of being answered, according to Mental Health America Wabash Valley Region.

House Bill 1468 passed unanimously out of the House and is being considered by the Senate.

While it is normal to experience emotional ups and downs, Hoosiers should be aware of the resources in place to help them if their feelings become overwhelming.

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Editor’s note: State Rep. Steve Davisson, R-Salem, represents House District 73, which includes Washington County and portions of Harrison, Clark, Jackson, Lawrence and Orange counties.