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.