Mayor-President Joel Robideaux Issues Two Proclamations in Support of The Family Tree

September is Declared as Infant Mortality and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

LAFAYETTE, September 4, 2019 - At the Lafayette City-Parish Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, Mayor-President Joel Robideaux issued two separate proclamations declaring September to be Infant Mortality Awareness Month and Suicide Prevention Month in Lafayette Parish. Marie Collins, Executive Director of The Family Tree Information, Education & Counseling Center, and her staff were on-site to accept the proclamations.

According to the most recent data from the Louisiana Office of Public Health, in 2018, there were 55 infant deaths in Region 4 and in 2017, there were 720 suicides in Louisiana. The Healthy Start Program and Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention Services, branches of The Family Tree, both aim to reduce the number of these preventable deaths in Lafayette and surrounding parishes. Marie Collins, Executive Director of The Family Tree is extremely thankful to Mayor-President Joel Robideaux and the members of the Lafayette City-Parish Council “for supporting The Family Tree and these important initiatives that over time will help build a stronger community where there are less preventable deaths.”

Healthy Start is an infant mortality reduction and racial disparities initiative federally funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and administered by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Healthy Start aims to improve health outcomes before, during, and after pregnancy, and, to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in rates of infant death and maternal mortality.

Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention Services began in November 2006, taking educational programming 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, they expanded programs to include suicide prevention education for teachers, counselors, and school administrators. Now thanks to generous funding from Acadiana Area Human Services District, programming can be taught to anyone in the Region 4 area. Jacob Crouch also operates a survivor of suicide support group which is open to any adult who is grieving a loss to suicide.

The Family Tree invites you to join them for a ribbon-cutting to kick off Infant Mortality Awareness and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month at their office, 1602 W. Pinhook Rd. Suite 100 A Lafayette, LA at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, September 6. They would also like to invite you to attend their Annual Infant Mortality Awareness & Remembrance Service at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 26 at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, 2300 N. University Ave. Lafayette, LA

The seed of The Family Tree was planted in 1979 for an agency to help create stronger families and ultimately, a stronger community. The Family Tree has experienced such wonderful growth in the last 40 years and appreciates the opportunity to offer specialized services to specific groups of people. "It is our great privilege to work with individuals and families from all facets of life, providing resources, giving them hope, and empowering them to achieve long term success,” says Marie Collins, Executive Director of The Family Tree.

About The Family Tree

As a community-based agency, The Family Tree provides professional yet affordable or no-cost services to the Acadiana region. The organization’s programs support individuals, parents and families through various stages of their lives to result in better mental health, coping skills, stronger family systems and supports.

The mission of the Family Tree is to improve the quality of life for individuals and families over the life course through education, counseling and information services that are delivered in a professional, accessible, and compassionate manner. For more information about The Family Tree, visit

Ed BowieComment