Lawmakers and youth advocates say they’re looking for legislation next session to help address suicide prevention and human trafficking.
Indiana law requires new teachers to be trained in suicide prevention. But that law only took effect three years ago, meaning there’s no required training for most of the teaching workforce.
Proposed legislation would require training for all school staff. Marion County Commission on Youth Public Policy and advocacy director Mindi Goodpaster says it’s also important to ensure all schools have suicide prevention policies and procedures.
“That would identify who is the point-person in the school,” Goodpaster says. “If you know there’s a student’s struggling, who do you go to? Who’s going to be that person that can handle that situation?”
Lawmakers will also grapple with human trafficking. Rep. Wendy McNamara (R- Evansville) says the biggest challenge remains education.
“That [human trafficking] does exist, where it exists and the way in which human traffickers are getting to their victims,” McNamara says.
McNamara notes the solution isn’t entirely legislative. But she hopes to bring a bill to address the websites that traffickers use to ensnare and sell their victims.