Aug 4, 2010 6:04 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Lafayette Parish Teachers Learning Suicide Prevention

Comeaux High teacher, Hilary Leblanc, said "I once had a young golfer who committed suicide and it was a traumatic event for me and the members of our golf team."

Leblanc has seen the devastation of suicide first hand and says he never noticed any warning signs.

"A teacher for 31 years you see a lot of kids that are depressed and have a lot of problems," he said. "You try to help them as best as you can, but sometimes you just don't see it coming."

Executive Director for the Jacob Crouch Foundation, Michelle Izzo-Voss, said suicide knows no boundaries. She explained it can affect anyone--any socioeconomic class, any race, and any gender.

The Jacob Crouch Foundation is now turning one family's tragedy into an opportunity for prevention in Lafayette Parish Schools. Teachers are often some of the first to see signs of suicide, because students spend so much time at school. Educating school personnel on suicide prevention is now required by the state.

Voss said, "The more we can teach our school personnel what to look for-the behaviors, what are the risk factors, the warning signs, the better off all of our students health will be."


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