As a local neonatologist, Dr. Sudhish Chandra has cared for babies born dependent on opioids. They’re inconsolable, excessively sucking their thumbs, scratching themselves. Sometimes infants have to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit for as long as two months.
“It breaks your heart, because they cannot defend themselves,” Chandra said.
He also has colleagues who have lost children to suicide and drug overdoses.
So he decided to do something about it.
Chandra, president of the Indiana Medical Association of Northwest Indiana and staff member at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, is hosting the Child Suicide & Opioid Crisis Prevention event May 17 in Merrillville.
“It looks like we have a lot of resources, but nothing that connects the community,” he said.
He has designed the event so it’s not just another forum with people talking, sitting behind a table. He wanted to have an uplifting time and make it kid-friendly.
There will be food, music, face-painting, balloon animals, games for kids, yoga, laughter yoga, meditation, speakers, free naloxone training and naloxone, and, at the end of the night, a candlelight vigil.