By Sam Elliott
As a part of the Fishers’ Mental Health Task Force, the city’s Faith-Based Mental Health Group welcomed Mike Dunn, the Director of Crisis and Suicide Intervention with Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis, to its meeting and discussion focused on teen suicide.
“Our crisis and suicide intervention service has been around since 1970 and then in the last five years we’ve also instituted a text messaging crisis line, as well. We’re one of the few of those in the state,” Dunn said. “We have to normalize the discussion of mental illness and suicide because if we can’t, we’re always going to fight this. If people only knew how common it is — it’s just like cancer, there’s not a family it hasn’t touched.”
Dunn’s “Teen Suicide 101” aimed to inform attendants on the prevalence of teen suicide and understanding why teens die by suicide with training for recognizing when someone might be having suicidal thoughts and how to move quickly to connect them with someone specialized in suicide intervention.
Nearly 20 area religious leaders across religions and denominations were in attendance, and Dunn praised the city’s efforts in joining forces with community stakeholders for its Mental Health Task Force.
“This leadership in this community — school leaders, clergy, the entire community — they are on the cutting edge of mental health and they will be recognized nationally someday I predict because of their efforts,” Dunn said. “We’re here to support them and any organization that we can.”
For more on the Fishers Mental Health Task Force and the city’s Stigma-Free Fishers campaign, visit fishers.in.us. For more on Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis and its suicide prevention efforts and intervention services, visit mhaindy.net.