The mission of Crouch Foundation is suicide awareness and prevention through educational programs.
Crouch Foundation began fulfilling its mission in November 2006 as a 501c3 nonprofit by taking our educational program into schools in the Acadiana area. This program provides students with the tools necessary to help themselves or others who may be showing signs of potential at-risk behavior. In 2010, we expanded our programs to include suicide prevention education for teachers, counselors and school administrators. We also operate a survivor of suicide support group which is open to any adult who is grieving a loss to suicide.
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Crouch Foundation was started by the family and friends of Jacob Crouch following his death by suicide in 2005. At the time, there were very limited resources available to those grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide and the stigma associated with suicide meant that education on warning signs and intervention was also not very prevalent. The mission of the foundation was quickly realized and in 2006 the Jacob Crouch Foundation began to work on spreading suicide awareness and prevention through education in memory of Jacob.
In the beginning, the foundation was run exclusively by family and friends of Jacob, many of which found solace in their education and prevention efforts and work at the foundation. They devoted the next five years of their lives to the foundation and passionately shared experiences and knowledge with students, teachers, community members and anyone willing to listen and learn.
The years 2010 and 2011 brought numberous changes for the foundation. For many of the founders, the healing originally offered by the foundation had taken them as far as it could and a step away from the demanding nature of suicide prevention was necessary for the healing process to continue. Others found growth in their personal lives, and while the foundation was still important to them, it could no longer be a priority.
In 2011, the name of the foundation was changed to Crouch Foundation and the emphasis of the foundation switched from memorializing Jacob’s life to a greater focus on the foundation being a place for every family in Acadiana to memorialize their lost loved ones.
The foundation has continued to work towards its mission with the help of individuals from the community. Our programs have thrived and expanded in the last three years, with over 5,000 individuals hearing our message of prevention and intervention in 2012 alone! However, in the last year, we have faced many hardships and even considered the possibility of closing our doors.
Our motivation to persist in our mission came from understanding that without our services, suicide prevention and education efforts in Acadiana would be almost nonexistent. Survivors of suicide would have one less place to go to cry, to be understood, to learn to grieve with their loss effectively and to connect with others who have shared experiences. Through personal experience, Jacob’s family and friends recognized that this is a cause we simply cannot afford to lose.
In 2015, we find ourselves in a place of revival and, for the first time in several years, we are confident that this foundation will thrive in working towards our mission. Great things have been happening for the foundation including the creation of a new board of directors, with Michelle Crouch and Ramsey Leblanc returning to our board. With the continued support of our friends, family and community, we are confident that Crouch Foundation will continue to grow and have a presence in the community for years to come.