Suicide awareness training bill passes Indiana House, now moves to Senate for vote

Posted at 8:59 PM, Feb 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 16:03:29-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana House has voted in favor of a bill that would regulate suicide prevention and awareness training in all Indiana schools.

The proposed legislation would mandate teachers and staff who work with any junior high or high school student to receive training to help recognize suicidal tendencies in teens. 

The 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey measured the risk factors of teen suicide rates in 37 states.

The survey, administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that one out of every five Indiana high school student has seriously considered committing suicide.

Danielle Green is one of the human faces of that survey. Her daughter, Angel, was only 13 years old when she committed suicide in 2013.

“Angel wrote letters, talked about suicide. But it wasn’t something we were terribly concerned about,” said Green.

Green said her daughter was enrolled in therapy and several school activities, but bullying at school proved to be more than the 13-year-old could handle.

“One week prior, she had been approached by a young boy who told her to stop talking to another boy. (The boy) said ‘you just need to go die because nobody would care about you.’ That just ruminated over and over in her mind,” said Green.

Green is now fighting to help pass legislation that would require the proper training for all school employees who work directly with students.

“I think if we can keep educating the teachers and medical professionals on how to get through to these children, how to recognize what’s going on and how to get in and step in and intervene. I think this would be a great service to our children,” said Green.

Green said she fights for her daughter’s memory and for all children who suffer quietly with these types of thoughts.

The proposal will now head to the Senate for consideration.

If the bill becomes law, training will start after June 30, 2018.