Suicide prevention fundraiser hopes to spread awareness

Indiana's suicide rate is soaring

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana is one of the leading states in the country when it comes to rising suicide rates.

Those who have been touched by suicide hope that a fundraiser to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Friday night will bring awareness to the problem and prevent future heartache.

One local mother knows about the pain all too well.

Lisa Davis now has only pictures left to remember her son Steven. He committed suicide at 17, just before his senior year.

"Once someone takes their own life It just rocks you. I mean it really takes you to the core, it really does," Davis said.

Statistics show that a person dies at their own hand every 14 minutes in the U.S., making it the second leading cause of death among 15 to 34-year-olds.

According to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate among Indiana's middle-aged population soared nearly 54 percent in the last decade -- an increase nearly twice the national rate and the eighth highest increase in the country.

"I feel alarmed, I feel sad. I'm curious as a professional to know what's driving these numbers," Kimble Richardson, a licensed mental health counselor at St. Vincent Hospital, said. "But we do want to get more awareness out to people that you don't have to have to suffer with depression. If you're having thoughts of suicide there is help."

Mental health experts and surviving family members like Davis hope the fundraiser on Friday will bring awareness to the growing numbers.

"I of course would do anything to have him back, but that's not going to happen. So I put my efforts into helping other people. I really feel strongly for the survivors because it's just horrific to try and go through that. So my heart goes out to anyone who's lost someone to suicide," Davis said.

A study said someone attempts suicide in the U.S. every 34 seconds.

LottaHOPEaLooza will go from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Marten House Hotel and Conference Center near West 86th Street and Harcourt Road.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

There will be dancing, appetizers, a silent auction, guest speakers, information about suicide prevention and support groups for survivors.

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