Viewpoint: April 27, 2011

In 2010, the number of suicides in East Baton Rouge Parish was higher than any other year in the past decade. Few people talk openly about suicide and mental illness. These issues are stigmatized as shameful and dark. And, many people are suffering in silence, not knowing where to turn.

But, services are available to those in our community suffering from emotional distress. The Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center offers 24-hour phone crisis counseling, internet crisis counseling and ongoing programs available to those affected by suicide.

This Saturday, the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center, along with the LSU Student Social Work Association, will be hosting the inaugural Circle of Support Walk on the LSU campus. The 1.5 mile walk/run hopes to generate awareness about the charitable services available to the many people in the community who do not know where to turn when life feels like too much.

Suicide is usually talked about in hushed tones, if it's talked about at all. And, many who attempt suicide never seek professional care. But, statistics show 80 percent of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully.

To learn more about the services available, or to be a part of the Circle of Support Walk, visit, or call (225) 924-1431.