Indiana Fever hosting anti-bullying and suicide prevention event

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 29, 2015) – The Indiana Fever will help kids learn anti-bullying and suicide prevention skills during an event Friday morning. Thousands of students will take part in this year’s “Choices for Champions” at the Farmers Coliseum.

Organizers say it is important to discuss suicide with students because it is a big issue in Indiana. The Hoosier state has the highest rate of students who report contemplating suicide, according to a survey by the Indiana Youth Institute.  Indiana also has the second highest rate of students who have attempted suicide.

One mother who lost her son to suicide said getting access to the right information is essential.

“It’s very complex,” said Lisa Brattain, the mother who lost her son and is now the Indiana/Ohio director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “There are a lot of variables and risk factors that I wasn’t aware of. A lot of symptoms of potential suicide that we never talked about. We didn’t have right verbiage, right dialogue as a family because we weren’t armed with information to have the correct conversations.”

The “Choices for Champions” event will include speakers such as mental health professionals who will share the resources available to teens in case they are struggling with depression or bullying.

“If someone’s mental health is compromised, bullying can be trigger for suicide,” Brattain said. “Bullying is not the cause of suicide, but it can be the final straw.”

Fever players will also talk to the students in attendance Friday morning. They are expected to discuss healthy eating, exercise and education.

“Choices for Champions” will be followed by the Fever’s preseason game at noon.

The activities start at 9:45 a.m. at the Farmers Coliseum on the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

For more information on suicide prevention, you can visit www.AFSP.org.

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