Bringing Suicide Awareness For Your Church

If you are a pastor, leader, or involved Christian in your church or ministry and want to make an impact on your community to prevent suicide, we want to help. Below we have created several social media graphics for you to share. We want to encourage you to let your congregation and community know.

Note: you can actually get these for free without the ChurchAndMentalHealth.com watermark if you sign up for our newsletter at the end of our article. Use them as you please. If you already have signed up, we will be sending you the files soon!

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David’s Support of Suicide Awareness

Note from the Editor: This month is Suicide Awareness month and when I saw David’s Instagram post. There is so much more behind this story that maybe I will convince him to share including what the tattoo means and David’s specific experience with the Church after struggling with suicidal thoughts. Also note, this was originally posted on David’s Instagram here on Sunday, September 10, 2017.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. It’s a day that’s deeply important to me, because it serves as a reminder — A reminder of the many times in my life that I came close to giving up + ending the story. It’s also important because it’s an opportunity for us to bring awareness to something scary that we’d rather not talk about. Because to avoid the discussion, simply because it’s scary, isn’t the right response. If you’ve never known the deep pain that comes with not wanting to live, consider yourself incredibly fortunate. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But regardless of our individual experiences, we can all do something. Everyone plays a role in suicide prevention…

You can start by letting people know that they matter… That their existence affects yours. You never know how much you mean to someone, or how much they want to mean something to you. And sometimes that’s all the motivation they need to stay.

Myths About Suicide

As we previously mentioned, this month is about suicide awareness. Unlike most parts of mental health disorders and behaviors, there is a lot of misinformation and ignorance about suicide that needs to be cleared up. We want to share myths and facts about suicide, some of which you may not have known.

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September Is Suicide Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in the United States. Each year, 41,000 people die because of suicide. Suicide itself is not an act that affects only the person that committed suicide, but families, friends, and communities. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly. Dedicating a month to this topic means we get to shine God’s light and grace to a topic hidden in the shadows.

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Grief Support With Hurricane Harvey Relief

Grief therapy is traditionally known for helping individuals and families when a loved one passes away. Pastors know this process well with funeral arrangements, coordinating food for after the service, and discussing proceedings while the loss is fresh and painful.

But grief therapy includes so much more than after someone dies. We want to explore specifically how pastors and mental health professionals could work together when crisis events like Hurricane Harvey come about.

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International Overdose Awareness Day Stats And Stories

Per yesterday’s post, tomorrow is International Overdose Awareness Day. To help with the awareness, we wanted to share some statistics and a video via our site to help develop awareness of substance use and overdoses. These statistics come from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

If you or someone you know struggles with substance dependency, I’d encourage you to simply go talk with a counselor. If you are not sure where to find one, talk with your insurance company for a referral for who they cover. If that’s not possible, use this services locator.

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Is Google Search Helping With Identifying Depression?

Several news organizations are reporting that Google is currently beta testing a depression screener for people to take if they are Google’ing ‘depression’ or ‘clinical depression.’ After several attempts in Chrome and Edge browsers, I was unable to find it, but if you look on the right-hand side where it talks about what depression is, what the symptoms are, and treatment options that are effective, it has a non-invasive button to look for it.

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Months of Awareness

It would seem that everything gets a day of the week, including little things like donuts and coffee. So it would not be a shock to find out there are several periods of time throughout the year dedicated to awareness of mental health and substance abuse disorder.

Below, we have a list of the mental health and substance abuse awareness days, weeks, and months we could find. We’ve also linked to the corresponding organization that is hosting the day.

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Resources

Professionals have a saying when it comes to difficult clients, “work within your competency.” If you have never worked with someone who is suicidal, refer out. If you do not feel equipped to help someone that struggles with bipolar or schizophrenia, refer out. To refer out, you need to know who you will need to have a resource list of people and resources to utilize.

This document will be a part of our resource page that will be constantly updated as new resources are shared.

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Professionals Ask: Does Burn Out Happen To A Calling?

Professional: As a counselor, we constantly talk about self-care to our clients, even being ethically required to take time off if we are not in a good space. What happens if a pastor is not doing well with self-care?”

I began working at a church plant a few years ago with the intention of becoming full-time eventually. I felt called to ministry and wanted to work at a church that was going to make a difference in the world! When the church started, we obviously did not have any funds so I had to fundraise 100% of my “part-time” salary and also work another job. While I understood this would be difficult, I knew in the long run I would eventually become full-time (hopefully).

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