THE POST-SIGNAL / Desiray Seaux
The Rotary’s featured speakers were Peggy Sandidge, left, vocational speaker; and Barney Lejeune, executive director of Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention Services.
Suicide prevention, awareness focus of Rotary meeting
Barney Lejeune, executive director of the Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention Services, delivered a presentation to the Crowley Rotarians.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths. Through education we can recognize the warning signs, reach out to those in need and help, according to Lejeune.
The Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention Services offers many programs, including:
• Student Presentations - trained staff and/or volunteers visit middle schools and high schools and talk with the students of the severity of the issue of suicide, warning signs and intervention tips in an effort to empower students to reach out for help if they are considering suicide.
• Teaching In-Service - the two-hour training session can be tailored to the individual needs of each school, but typically includes information on the warning signs and how to successfully intervene when a student is at risk for suicide. These classes fulfill the 2008 Louisiana State Legislature mandate known as Act 219 (Jason Flatt Act) requiring that all certified teachers, administrators and counselors receive two hours of suicide prevention and awareness training each year.
• Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) - this comprehensive two-day standardized training, developed by LivingWorks, is seen as the gold standard for suicide prevention training. CEU’s are available with this training.
• Community Education - professionals and trained volunteers make presentations to businesses, church groups, and organizations in an effort to prevent suicide and help to erase the stigma surrounding suicide. Talks are tailored to each group.
• Survivor of Suicide Support Group - a grief support group open to any adult who is grieving the loss due to suicide.
Lejeune explained that the mission of the Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention Services is to establish suicide prevention, awareness and educational programs that lead people to resources that will assist them during difficult times, increase awareness of the prevalence of suicide in our society, facilitate the implementation of suicide education in schools and establish a place that people can turn to in that time of need.
Some of the warning signs of suicide include: threatening to or talking about wanting to hurt oneself or die; withdrawing from family, friends or society; feeling anxious, agitated, unable to sleep or sleeping more than usual; looking for ways to kill one’s self by seeking access to guns, stockpiling pills or other means; talking about death, dying or suicide; feeling of hopelessness, apathy or depression; feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge; acting reckless or engaging in risky behavior; feeling trapped — like there is no way out; increased use of drugs or alcohol; dramatic mood changes; poor eating, sleeping and self-care habits; and seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life.
Groups with an elevated risk for suicide are: LBGTQ individuals, recent divorcees (especially males); recently unemployed individuals; individuals in rural areas or loners and those with limited access to resources; individuals with mental disorders; individuals with life stress and mental pain; prior suicidal behavior — most important factor in estimating the likelihood of further suicidual acts, which increases risk by 40 percent and family history.
To make a contribution or to request services, contact the Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention Services at 337-234-1828.
Donations can be made by mailing to 2851 Johnson Street, PMB#282, Lafayette, La 70503