Concert helps drive to prevent teen suicide The Daily Advertiser Sunday, May 17, 2009 Bruce Brown Michelle Crouch doesn’t want anyone to go through the pain and sense of loss she has endured since her son Jacob ended his life on Dec. 14, 2005. That’s why she and husband Kenny created the Jacob Crouch Foundation, which reaches out to help prevent teen suicides through education and training. “My family says it takes its toll on me, but my life from here on out is going to be hard,” said Michelle Crouch. “I’m always going to be sad. But I am helping others.” Saturday’s Crouchstock music festival in downtown Lafayette, featuring the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Wayne Toups & ZyDeCajun and Richard Revue, is the chief fundraising event for the foundation. The event raised some $35,000 in its inaugural in 2006, followed by $50,000 in 2007 and last year’s $35,000 return – providing more than $120,000 to date to expand the Foundation’s efforts. “We definitely like to help out when we can,” said Louie Michot of the Lost Bayou Ramblers. “I knew Jacob in high school, and I’ve known other people it has happened to.” Michot, who has a 7-month-old son – “another generation on the way” – said his band was asked to take part in Crouchstock for the first time after a Festival Acadien performance. Troy Richard and the Richard Revue have been on hand for all four events, while Wayne Toups is also a repeat performer. Funding to the Jacob Crouch Foundation fuels instruction in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), which is made available free to teachers... read more
Garage sale held to benefit those who have lost a loved one to suicide The Daily Advertiser Saturday, May 2, 2009 Amanda McElfresh Two local nonprofit organizations are beginning to work more closely to help those who have lost a family member or close friend to suicide. The first joint effort between the Jacob Crouch Foundation and Healing House is this weekend’s giant garage sale, which began Friday and continues today at the First United Methodist Church. Proceeds from the sale will go toward both organizations. “We were really just talking about different ways we can collaborate, and we decided to just ask our supporters and clients to get involved and let them give back to us in an easy way,” said Michelle Izzo-Voss, executive director of the Jacob Crouch Foundation. The idea seemed to have paid off Friday, when dozens of people lined up at the church around 6 a.m. for the sale. Izzo-Voss said about half the items were gone by around mid-morning Friday, but anyone interested is welcome to bring more items to sell. Beyond the garage sale, Izzo-Voss said she and Heather Blanchard, executive director of Healing House, are considering devoting one of Healing House’s support groups to those who have lost a loved one to suicide. Healing House hosts several groups for children who have lost a parent or loved one. The two groups already are sharing office space, but hope that their continued combined efforts can help those in the community who are grieving and need support. “With the state of the economy, nonprofits need to look at ways to collaborate more,” Izzo-Voss... read more
The Daily Advertiser Thursday, April 10, 2008 Amanda Bedgood The freshman class of Acadiana High School learned how to help a friend contemplating suicide Wednesday with a lesson from the Jacob Crouch Foundation. Crouch, a 24-year-old UL student, committed suicide in December 2005. His friends and aunt spoke to students Wednesday about the warning signs of depression and suicidal thoughts and how to reach out to people that are hurting. “Listening, listening, listening is the key,” Josh Landry, Crouch’s friend and old roommate, told the group. He explained to students that a friend seeming down about something as simple as missing out on being on the softball team could be dealing with bigger issues. He told them to dig deeper and then find an adult that the person can talk to. Denise Sadler with the Jacob Crouch Foundation presents a suicide awareness and prevention program to freshmen Wednesday at Acadiana High School in Scott. Are you a survivor? Attend Lafayette’s local Suicide Support Group. Meetings are on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Edmund’s Church. For more information call 261-5578. Need help? Check out the following resources. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK National Suicide Hotline 1-800-SUICIDE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 1-888-333-AFSP National Mental Health Association 1-800-969-6642 www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org www.suicidehotlines.com www.afsp.org... read more
Michelle Crouch stood in front of a gymnasium full of Comeaux High School sophomores. About 30 minutes earlier, her husband Kenny stood to shush some students in the crowd, but now not a whisper could be heard as Michelle held their attention. In December 2005, Crouch’s son, Jacob died by suicide. The family has formed the Jacob Crouch Foundation with a focus on suicide education and prevention. Crouch, members of her family and her son’s friends were at the school recently to talk about a topic that is often whispered about but rarely discussed openly. So far this year, seven people in Acadiana have died by suicide, according to the Lafayette Parish Coroner’s Office. One of those deaths was a Comeaux High sophomore. “I’m nervous today,” Michelle Crouch admitted. She added it was not because she’s not used to talking in front of a crowd of high school students, but she’s had that gnawing feeling in her stomach since Mother’s Day. “Jacob was my only son, so what good is Mother’s Day?” she said, then paused. “I’m not here for your sympathy. I’m here because I don’t want any other parent to go through what I went through.” Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among youths between the ages of 15 to 24, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In the past seven months, the family and friends of Jacob have presented facts and their personal stories about experiencing Jacob’s suicide with high schoolers at Vermilion Catholic in Abbeville, St. Thomas More in Lafayette, Catholic High in New Iberia. The visit to Comeaux was the first foray into the... read more
The mission of Crouch Foundation is suicide awareness and prevention through education.