Lawmakers push for legislation to require educators to have suicide prevention training

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - "Our son was probably one of the smartest people I've ever met. He wanted to cure cancer one day and I knew he was going to be able to," says Matt Davis.

His son, Anthony Wilkerson, was 18-years-old. He graduated top of his class from Perry Meridian High School and was accepted at Indiana University.

It was November 20th, 2014 when he died by suicide.

"It's not selfish, because that boy, he was struggling and he just didn't know how to handle it," says Davis who's on a personal crusade to save more children.

On this Advocacy Day at the Indiana Statehouse, Davis and other members of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFPC)are talking with lawmakers to push for legislation to require educators and related professionals to have suicide prevention training.

"AFSP's goal is to reduce suicide by 20% by 2025 and I don't think we can do that without the help of our legislators and our lawmakers," says Davis.

Any parent who has experienced this kind of pain will likely tell you there are no one-size-fits-all symptoms to watch and there's likely no single cause.

"Bullying, bad grades, not getting on the A-team at school, friends picking on them on social media," says Davis.

It's an aggregate of issues over time, which is why thousands of people walk out of the darkness to educate and erase the stigma of mental illness and treat it like any other disease.

"I know deep down Anthony's proud of us for doing this for him."

Channel 13 is committed to preventing suicides. We've partnered with Community Health Network that can help you or a loved one who has had thoughts of suicide.

Please click: www.havehope.com

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: www.afsp.org/indiana