Today is World Suicide Prevention Day

suicideprevention

 

September 6th – 12th is National Suicide Prevention Week. Today, September 10th, is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Conservative statistics suggest that, in the U.S. alone, every 15- 20 minutes someone takes his or her own life. In the year 2013, there was a suicide every 12.8 minutes[1]. That’s approximately 35,000 suicides every year in this country – and there are likely more, as many of these deaths are disguised as accidents.

Suicide is shaking families, schools, churches, and communities. It is an epidemic that continues to grow. But there is hope. Through awareness campaigns, increased understanding of risk factors, and new programs to equip leaders to intervene when a client is faced with suicidal ideation, you can make a difference. Here are some ways that you can make an impact.

Become PAIR Certified. The AACC has JUST released an ALL NEW Suicide Prevention, Assessment, Intervention, and Recovery certification course. The Suicide PAIR Certification Program offers everything you need to incorporate effective prevention & intervention strategies in your practice or ministry! This course will cover the warning signs of suicide, the statistics, a theology of suicide, long term support for survivors, survivor support in the first 48 hours- 2 weeks, the digital world and suicide risk, how to support a helping professional who loses a parishioner to suicide, the ethics of suicide prevention, and much more. This program includes role-play videos depicting suicide intervention as a clinician as well as intervention as a lay helper. Click here to learn more.

Share Eye-Opening Graphics. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has created graphics based on their recent public survey regarding suicide prevention and mental health. Share with #StopSuicide, the hashtag for National Suicide Prevention Week. Learn more at afsp.org.

Know Your Community Resources. Take some time to prepare for the day when you learn of a loved one, colleague, parishioner or community member struggling with suicidal thoughts. Find out who the trained mental health practitioners are in your area- and learn how long it takes to get an appointment with them. Understand the policies and procedures of your local Emergency Room regarding suicide risk. Keep the National Suicide Hotline number somewhere easily accessible.

Pray. Pray with out ceasing. The power of darkness is at work when people believe the lie that their only choice is to take their own life. Pray against these lies in the lives of your loved ones. Pray for the community leaders who provide help for people in crisis.

“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18, NASB

[1] National Suicide Statistics. CDC.org. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/pdf/leading_causes_of_death_by_age_group_2013-a.pdf.

Posted on: Sept. 10, 2015, 9:30 p.m.