BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Capital Area has endured a lot during the month of July, but even as the city moves towards an uneasy sense of normalcy, the Crisis Intervention Center in Baton Rouge is bracing for an increase in demand for services.
The center's executive director, Aaron Blackledge, explained that any traumatic event can produce stress or anxiety and lead to problems emotionally.
"It could certainly trigger destructive behavior, it could trigger depression, anxiety," said Blackledge.
Surprisingly, Blackledge said the demand for crisis intervention, such as emergency counseling, is highest three to four weeks after a traumatic event, not immediately after.
Blackledge explained that in the stages of grief, there is usually an outpouring of support in the beginning like friends d ropping off food for mourners after a funeral. However, as people return to a normal routine those still processing trauma are left without support.
"The challenge is the folks who have been impacted by trauma are still dealing with those events," said Blackledge.
Fortunately, the Crisis Intervention Center provides a wide range of services for people who have reached their breaking points or are dealing with trauma. It's probably best known for The Phone, a 24-7 hotline with highly trained counselors ready to answer and help anyone get through a moment of crisis.
The Phone is anonymous and without judgment. The counselors on the other line can even link you with additional resources if needed.
The Center also offers Traumatic Loss Services for groups or businesses, which brings the counselors to you.
"We can send in trained trauma counselors to really provide installation of hope and healing to those who have been affected by a traumatic event," said Blackledge.
Blackledge said that reaching out for help in any form leads to better coping overall.
"There's not a lot outlets where someone can be heard from someone who is really empathetic and also is not in a clinical setting," said Blackledge. "It's just someone who is non-judgmental and there to listen."
If you need Crisis Intervention, 24-hour crisis counseling is available through The Phone: (225) 924-3900, (225) 924-LSU1, (800) 437-0303.