Netflix documentary draws attention to mental health and teen suicide

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a new Netflix documentary has people talking about mental health and teen suicide. Mental health is typically one of the least talked about diseases. Advocates say knowing what your resources are is the first step to help.

The Lutheran Foundation launched LookUpIndiana.org last year, a website focused on mental and behavioral health and wellness. It provides educational information, crisis lines, connectivity to mental health providers and resources, and provides stigma-reducing videos.

They also provide crisis cards and posters for schools, workplace, churches, and any organizations who would like to ensure those around them are knowledgeable about the valuable resource. Look Up also has a student page with information on suicide prevention.

According to Kristina Johnson with the foundation, 1 in 5 individuals in any given year will struggle with a mental health condition. Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health condition, affecting over 40 million adults.

Johnson also said depression is another common mental health condition and a major cause of disability, absenteeism, and productivity loss among working-age adults. Depression, alone, is estimated to cause 200 million lost workdays each year, a cost to employers of $17-$44 billion, according to Johnson.

Lastly, Johnson said our youth struggle with high suicide ideology. Indiana is tied for 3rd place in youth seriously considering suicide, and tied for 2nd place for youth with a suicide plan.

Mental health advocate Colleen Carpenter said 13 Reasons Why can be dangerous for youth if there aren’t parents to counteract some of the message in the show. She said the talking points are critical to help parents talk through the issues portrayed in the show and having a frank and open dialogue about suicide.

Clinton Faupel said text-to-chat service, a partnership with Look Up, is another resource. He is the founder of Get Schooled Tour, a school assembly reaching kids. Kids can get involved with programs throughout the area and talk with other teens dealing with the same issues.