Aug 12, 2014 7:08 PM by Valerie Ponseti

Robin Williams death increases awareness in Acadiana

With the suicide of movie star Robin Williams still fresh in the minds of the world, suicide experts like Executive Director Lori Bienvenu from the Crouch Foundation, say the risk of more deaths is higher.
"We're always concerned when a high profile figure dies by suicide because it can create trends within a community," says Bienvenu. She says being educated about suicide is a huge step in preventing it. There are several warning signs you can look for in someone who is struggling with depression like Williams was that can sometimes be precursors to suicide.
"Changes in weight, obviously substance use, drug abuse, alcohol use, things like withdrawing from family and friends; not engaging in behaviors that you used to enjoy," says Bienvenu.
Some of the signs aren't as obvious. "It can be subtle changes like giving things away. Things that are very personal to you. Saying goodbye to family and friends," Bienvenu says.
She says although many people find it difficult, the best way to help a loved one who is considering suicide is to ask them directly.
"And a lot of people oppose that method but that's really the most effective thing that you can do because often times the person at risk, they can't put into words what they're feeling or thinking or they're afraid to ask for help," says Bienvenu.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide you can call the national hotline at 1-800-273-1828 or contact the Crouch Foundation in Lafayette.


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