FISHERS, Ind.––Every year hundreds of Hoosiers lose their lives to suicide.
Fishers police say early Tuesday morning a man took his own life in front of police headquarters.
Police say the man walked inside the Fishers Police Department and picked up a phone. The 68-year-old dialed 911 and reported he intended to kill himself.
Officers tried to de-escalate the situation by asking the man to step outside, which he did, before taking his own life.
“Our officers grieve with this family. This is tragic,” said Fishers police Chief Ed Gebhart.
“Every time we have a tragedy like we had last night it’s a constant reminder that there’s work to be done, making sure people in crisis can seek the help they need,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness.
Fishers city leaders believe there’s a need for more education on this difficult topic.
Both the mayor and police chief agree preventing suicides starts by encouraging conversations about mental health, which is the goal of the city’s website, StigmaFreeFishers.com.
“There’s such a social stigma around it, that’s the biggest impediment for curing it,” said Fadness.
“I think you want to make it okay to not be okay,” said Gebhart.
A search of numbers online shows 975 Hoosiers died of suicide in 2019. That translates to one death every 8 hours, making it one of the most common causes of death, especially among youth.
“It’s the second leading cause of death for ages 25 to 34 and third leading cause for 10 to 24, so those are some young kiddos that are struggling,” said Kelsey Steuer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
While suicide numbers nationwide saw a decline in 2019 and preliminary numbers show another decrease in 2020, Kelsey still encourages everyone to reach out and help friends, family and neighbors, as soon as they see warning signs of mental issues.
“You know, it’s never too early to have conversations about mental health,” said Steuer. “Through these conversations we are able to get people help.”
If you know anyone who needs assistance, the national Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255.
Additional resources can also be found at AFSP.org.