The slide appeared toward the end of Fishers’ Mayor Scott Fadness’ State of the City address two years ago. It was just a number. The Mayor paused. “That’s the number of attempted suicides last year in our community,” he said. He shook his head. “We’ve got to do something about that.”
This week, the City of Fishers released its 2017 report to the community on their mental health initiative. They’ve been busy. Their objectives? First, improve education and training. Second, create and enhance resources and services.
The report indicates they’ve moved quickly. 100% percent of the Fishers Fire and Emergency Services Department and School Resource Officers have been trained in Crisis Intervention Team Training. (CIT). The Fishers Fire Department became the first in the country to complete SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral) training. 130 Fire Department personnel completed the CSSRS (Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale). 816 HSE teachers in grades 5-12 completed suicide prevention training, and a custom elementary training course is being development for implementation in the 2017- 2018 school year.
By creating a community team of fire and police personnel, teachers, businesses, an interfaith task force, coaches, parents and health providers, Fishers is determined to create and expand a city-wide culture of care. According to Dr. Bernice Pescosolito, the IU professor who spoke during the report, the Fishers comprehensive model is the best way to make sustainable change, and could be a great model for communities nationwide.
Our Hamilton County communities regularly garner enumerable top positions on best lists for everything from quality of life, to schools, family living and safety. Fishers is after one that’s much more important – creating a physically and mentally healthy community. And saving lives.