September is suicide prevention month and we want to be able to equip churches with resources whether you are in the midst of someone who is suicidal or wanting to simply be prepared. Suicide does not impact just one person or family. We know that when someone commits suicide, the rate of suicide in the area goes up significantly for others who knew that individual.
Talking about suicide does not encourage it, but actually drives down rates of suicide. Further, because you identify yourself as a resource, even a resource to link people to counseling or other agencies, we know this helps save lives.
How Your Church Can Help
The best resource your church can have with suicide prevention with regards to mental illness is not one we can link here, because it’s individual to each community: your local counseling agencies. Do you know where you would refer people to counseling for severe depression or trauma? Do you have personal relationships and feel comfortable with referring your congregation there? If not, start now.
By no means is the list below comprehensive, but a list of resources we have vetted. We also hope to continue to expand this list in the months to come. For other resources that compliment suicide prevention, check out our resource page.
It should also be noted these are not all inherently Christian resources. We see sin, lies from Satan, and a spiritual battle taking place, but also understand that there are resources out there that churches are not taking advantage of that are good and need to be used. We encouraged churches to step up and talk about suicide to your congregation and community from a spiritual stance.
With that, here are our resources.
- Church Suicide Prevention Policy
Churches need to have a suicide prevention policy in their church’s handbook on how staff, volunteers, deacons/elders, and others should respond when someone makes claims of wanting to commit suicide. This is a free resource churches can literally copy/paste into their own church handbook.
RemedyLIVE is a 24/7 suicide prevention chat center via phone, web, and texting. They are committed to serving teens and young adults. You can read our review of this resource as well as significant statistics with regards to teenagers and suicide.
- Free DYMU Course: Suicide Prevention
Download Youth Ministry is a resource for youth pastors to run their youth ministry from sermons to games to trainings. One of those trainings is an 18-minute video called Suicide Detection and Prevention which they made available for free.
- To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA)
TWLOHA is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope & finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, & suicide. Here is our review of the ministry and a powerful video of hope.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.
- Sources of Strength
A best practice youth suicide prevention project designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. Catch their webinar they did with Kay Warren this year here.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 160 crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 1-800-273-8255. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
- National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (NAASP)
The NAASP aim to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention which represents a comprehensive, long-term approach to suicide prevention.
What other resources would you add to this list?