Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center hosts weekend events to mark 50 years of service

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BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — March marks 50 years of providing suicide prevention, survivor support, and suicidology educational resources to the capital region, thanks to the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center (BRCIC).

Since its humble beginnings as a student led effort on LSU’s campus, the BRCIC has grown and evolved to meet the challenges of addressing and preventing suicide in Baton Rouge and beyond through its newest program the National Suicidology Training Center. NSTC works to train local experts to reduce the impact of suicide in their own communities.

The public is invited to a 50th anniversary celebration weekend March 7 and 8 that will include the annual support walk Saturday morning on LSU’s campus, and an open house Sunday evening at BRCIC headquarters.

BRCIC executive director emeritus and chair of the NSTC Dr. Frank Campbell visited the FOX 44 studio to discuss the event with morning anchor Kelly Anne Beile.

On Saturday March 7, the center will host the 2020 Circle of Support Walk, now in its 10th year, on the campus of LSU. The Walk will be held at the Greek Amphitheater from 8:00- 10:30 am. No fee is required to walk, but donations will be accepted.

On Sunday, March 8, the center will host an open house celebration at the BRCIC headquarters located at 3013 Old Forge Drive, Baton Rouge, La 70808 from 5:00- 8:00 pm. The celebration will include tours of the facility and memorial garden, a silent auction, and light refreshments.

Email events@brcic.org for more information on either event.

History of BRCIC

In 1970, students at LSU began an effort to address and prevent an alarming trend of suicides on their campus. The student organization began a crisis hotline called ‘The Phone’ where students could call to receive emotional support through stressful or traumatic situations.

Within four years, those resources were opened to the general public and the first iteration of the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center, BRCIC, was formally established. By the end of the decade, BRCIC had earned accreditation from the American Association of Suicidology and established many best practices that were adopted by centers around the country.

Over the decades, as technology changed and the field of suicidology evolved, the Center worked to meet those challenges with the same dedication to its mission of preventing suicide and providing support in our community.

The BRCIC expanded its resources by establishing a peer facilitated support group for people who have lost loved ones to suicide. The Survivors of Suicide Support Group still meets weekly and is one of the longest running groups of its kind.

Experts working with the Center developed a postvention model to help people immediately after a loss or traumatic event, and various online resources were established to connect the community to virtual emotional support services.

In 2018, the BRCIC evolved again. The Center returned to the basics by recommitting to support services and training, and transferred The Phone to another crisis line provider in Louisiana. The National Suicidology Training Center was formed to more directly help communities reduce the impact of suicide by training local experts through collaborations with nationally recognized expert organizations.

Through the NSTC, groups and individuals can undergo specialized training to address a wide variety of topics and issues related to suicide including postvention training, establishing support for survivors, and psychological autopsy certification training.

Over 50 years, while services and resources have evolved, the mission of BRCIC has remained the same one that began with those LSU students who provided hope in a dark time. As we look ahead to the next 50 years, the BRCIC will continue that mission by thinking globally and acting locally.

BRCIC invites anyone who has been a part of the center or experienced its services over the past 50 years to join us in a weekend celebrating this milestone anniversary.

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