LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.
Here in Calcasieu Parish, the suicide rate is 42 percent higher than the national rate, says Dr. Kevin Yaudes, with the Kay Dore Counseling Center at McNeese and an assistant professor of psychology at McNeese.
The rates have been rising the past two years.
· 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
· Text “connect” to 741741
Yaudes and Dr. Carra Sergeant, with local counseling center Peace from Pieces, both say a key to preventing suicides is listening to those around you.
Have conversations with those around you and look for the signs of depression and suicide.
Yaudes says the signs may be subtle, but should taken seriously.
“Ask them directly: ‘Are you thinking about killing yourself?’ ” Yaudes said. “Don’t not ask because it’s a difficult question to ask, ask the question directly.”
Sergeant said that when it comes to kids, sometimes their friends are best able to notice changes, so teach your kids to listen to their friends.
“If you hear your friends talking about feeling hopeless or feeling lonely or feeling isolated or feeling lost, or if you notice change in behavior, if there’s something you’re used to them doing and suddenly that pattern changes, that’s a reason for you to kind of perk up an eyebrow and say, ‘Are you OK?’” Sergeant said. “That’s the key: You always ask ‘Are you ok?’ You open the conversation.”
The Out of Darkness Lake Charles Walk to raise money for suicide prevention is Saturday, Sept. 21. Click HERE for more.