To call 2020 a “difficult year” would be an understatement. The turmoil seems as if it will never end.
Despair and hopelessness touch us all at some point. Perhaps you know someone who has acted on suicidal thoughts—who has attempted or completed suicide. Or perhaps you don’t realize you know someone who has been touched by suicide. Suicide and mental illness aren’t common conversation topics, after all.
So how can people of faith respond? There are a number of ways both individuals and congregations can make a difference. First and foremost, anyone can educate themselves about the realities of this devastating issue.
The websites of both Pathways to Promise and Lutheran Suicide Prevention Ministry offer a number of ways to get started. Secular organizations such as National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also offer helpful resources—including concrete steps you can take.
Everyone’s wellness journey and needs are different, but depression and suicidal thoughts are treatable. If you are experiencing depression, please speak to a doctor or mental health professional. Or if you or someone you know is considering suicide, reach out to a professional now at 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK. If you need immediate help, call 911.
This message is an excerpt from “What would you say” by Sarah Carson in the March 2021 issue of Gather. Today we remember James, the Apostle (transferred).
Daily Grace has been offering you things to ponder and things to pray about for more than 10 years. For free. Women of the ELCA provides many other free online resources, too—see welca.org/resources. Please support Women of the ELCA at welca.org/give.