mental health

The Senate Committee on Family and Children Services approved a bill to lift a lifetime ban on federally-funded food assistance for certain drug offenders. Indiana is one of four states still blocking that federal assistance.

Senate Bill 11 would open SNAP benefits to drug offenders, as long as they complete their parole and probation requirements as specified by the court.

Indiana House Republicans will push legislation this session that could eliminate nearly a third of all Indiana townships – potentially getting rid of more than 1,200 elected officials.

Legislative leaders pushed total township elimination about a decade ago – and were met with resounding, bipartisan opposition.

A small group of youth workers in the state had the opportunity to learn more about how to help these children whose emotional and mental wellbeing is often impacted.

One in 10 Indiana children have a parent who is incarcerated. That’s one of the highest rates in the nation.

Young adults in Indiana are struggling. Teens experience a growing number of social and emotional needs but support can be hard to come by in the one place they may turn: schools.

Teens at Fishers High School, in an affluent suburb of Indianapolis, may seem to have it made but many confront issues that could lead to larger problems. Mental health coordinator for Hamilton Southeastern Schools, Brooke Lawson says things recently got a little easier for these students.

“We were able to start this year with a mental health counselor in every building,” says Lawson.

The Indiana Commission On Improving the Status of Children is working to tackle one part of the shortage of mental health providers.

Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy executive director Cathleen Graham says the shortage of professionals comes from a number of factors: Indiana has almost doubled the number of children in the welfare system and the opioid epidemic contributed to longer stays in the system while parents and guardians get sober.