Colts gives gift to Riley Children’s Foundation to help expand mental health services – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana weather
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indianapolis Colts are helping expand mental health services with a donation to the Riley Children’s Foundation.
The official announcement comes at nearly 10 a.m. Tuesday in a bid to improve access to mental health services for children and youth in Indiana.
According to doctors and staff at Riley Children’s Health, the need is great. Doctors at Riley Hospital for Children say they get calls from around 500 families each week, need mental health care for their children, and only have the capacity to help a handful.
In 2020, Riley Children’s Health saw a record 766 children and adolescents in their emergency department requiring assessment by the Riley Behavioral Health Access Center. In 2021, that number has grown to over 1,260.
Doctors say Indiana is in the bottom 20% of states for access to child psychiatrists and the top half of states for youth suicide rates. The Colts want to help change those statistics.
“One very important cause that we want to support is mental health awareness,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said at the launch of the “Kick the Stigma” campaign.
The Irsay family initiative hopes to raise awareness of mental health disorders and eliminate the shame and stigma often associated with these illnesses. The Colts say this giveaway is part of that campaign and they hope to improve access to mental health services for children in Indiana.
Irsay tweeted about Tuesday’s announcement, echoing the need is great. He said: “Tomorrow we will announce a gift to @RileyKids to improve access to mental health services for children in Indiana. Doctors / staff at Riley Hospital say the need is great (eg every week up to 500 families call Riley asking for outpatient mental health care for a child!). “