Suicide Prevention for Faith-Based Leaders
Recent years have unveiled a hard truth: suicide rates are surging again after two years of being on the decline.
Today, I AM presenting you with an opportunity to recognize and respond. And honestly, it’s not just an opportunity. It’s a mandate.
I AM inviting you to become a lifeline in your community. I’m challenging you to position yourself as a lighthouse shining into the darkness of nights, calling out to the lives you are called to bring into the light of a new day.
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We Truly Have a Problem.
As we move into the “post-pandemic world”, the need for effective suicide prevention efforts has never been greater. Although statistics show that the rate of suicide fell in 2019 and 2020, this does not give us room to let down our guards. As a society, we are facing more turmoil and internal rumblings than ever before, and I truly believe that a lot of people walking the face of this earth are ticking timebombs.
We see it every day – from the sniper in Washington, D.C. to the recent school shootings, mall shootings and other acts of violence – we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to what is going on. People are not okay. And sometimes, when people are suicidal, they desire to take others out with them – and saving one life could save many.
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Young people and members of marginalized groups such as indigenous communities continue to be disproportionately affected when it comes to mental health challenges. The pressure from social media completely exacerbates the situation and causes young people to feel like they will never be good enough. We even see pageant stars and prominent influencers dying by suicide because of the pressure of it all.
This alarming trend should be a major concern for everyone, but especially pastors and other faith-based community leaders across the country. In order to effectively address this important issue and save the lives of the people we are called to serve, it is important that we take the time to learn about suicide prevention efforts and how we can support those at risk in our congregations and communities.
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