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Officials make connections between crime, mental health

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Department of Public Safety took another step to address violence in Indianapolis during an area team meeting Tuesday.

In that meeting, the Marion County Public Health Department released statistics drawing connections between violence and mental health in the city.

According to the MCPH, 17 percent of teens 12-17 years old carried a gun, knife, or other weapons in the past 30 days.

“That’s a tough one. We have to get together as neighbors and find more things for our kids to do,” said resident Toby Smith-Kniess

The same report discovered that 4 percent of those teens carried weapons to school. In that same report, it states that 29 percent of teenagers 12-17 have depressive symptoms. Nearly 19 percent considered suicide.

“Until this community comes together to really address these mental health issues, I don’t know why anyone would be surprised by the violence we are seeing,” said MCPH Director Virginia A. Caine.

The report gave an assessment for six age groups. The report also covered poverty, substance abuse, and even chronic disease management.

DPS plans to use the numbers to better serve those in the community struggling with those issues. On Tuesday another community conversation will happen. IMPD is holding its first community conversation of year. The conversation takes place Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Blended Church off of Country Club Road and just North of West 21st Street.