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Faith Based Guide to Suicide Prevention (PDF)

To help youth and assist those who have lost a loved one to suicide, faith leaders can take the following steps.

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Faith communities can be centers for suicide prevention for their spiritual guidance and community connection. Faith leaders also can advocate for mental health in rural communities with limited mental health resources. They can promote mental health awareness, the risk of suicide, and create safe environments where members can seek help. Youth can benefit from the religious community, and young members who participate in faith-based activities may have lower rates of suicidal thinking. However, not all communities are accepting of mental health challenges. Suicide stigmatization is still prevalent in some religious communities and may dismiss youth experiencing suicidal thoughts.

To create safe environments for youth, faith leaders need to normalize conversations about suicide prevention. Also, faith members must support all youth regardless of suicidal thoughts, sexual orientation, or gender identity. It is imperative to know the signs of suicidal ideation. If a young person talks about planning a suicide attempt, expresses hopelessness, or shows emotional distress, they could be at risk

To help youth and assist those who have lost a loved one to suicide, faith leaders can take the following steps. First, reach out to someone struggling, ask them how they feel, actively listen to them without judgment, show them you care. Describe instances you noticed their behavior change; be specific about these moments, and express concern. Ask directly if they are considering taking their own life. This conversation allows people to feel seen and cared for about their mental health issues.

Follow-up support is crucial for those who open up about their struggles. Tell people they are not alone and offer ways to provide support. Faith leaders should encourage young people and their parents to see a mental health professional immediately and identify social supports like youth groups. Leaders can also provide 24/7 crisis lines like how to dial the national 988 Lifeline. Follow up with young people and their caring adults to share your ongoing support during difficult times. Download this faith-based leader guide for more information and share among staff:

https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/hope-guide-faith-leaders-help-prevent-youth-suicide.pdf

No Wrong Door Marketplace resources are curated by the Ohio School-Based Center of Excellence for Prevention & Early Intervention. 513-529-2450

 

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Description

Faith communities can be centers for suicide prevention for their spiritual guidance and community connection. Faith leaders also can advocate for mental health in rural communities with limited mental health resources. They can promote mental health awareness, the risk of suicide, and create safe environments where members can seek help. Youth can benefit from the religious community, and young members who participate in faith-based activities may have lower rates of suicidal thinking. However, not all communities are accepting of mental health challenges. Suicide stigmatization is still prevalent in some religious communities and may dismiss youth experiencing suicidal thoughts.

To create safe environments for youth, faith leaders need to normalize conversations about suicide prevention. Also, faith members must support all youth regardless of suicidal thoughts, sexual orientation, or gender identity. It is imperative to know the signs of suicidal ideation. If a young person talks about planning a suicide attempt, expresses hopelessness, or shows emotional distress, they could be at risk

To help youth and assist those who have lost a loved one to suicide, faith leaders can take the following steps. First, reach out to someone struggling, ask them how they feel, actively listen to them without judgment, show them you care. Describe instances you noticed their behavior change; be specific about these moments, and express concern. Ask directly if they are considering taking their own life. This conversation allows people to feel seen and cared for about their mental health issues.

Follow-up support is crucial for those who open up about their struggles. Tell people they are not alone and offer ways to provide support. Faith leaders should encourage young people and their parents to see a mental health professional immediately and identify social supports like youth groups. Leaders can also provide 24/7 crisis lines like how to dial the national 988 Lifeline. Follow up with young people and their caring adults to share your ongoing support during difficult times. Download this faith-based leader guide for more information and share among staff:

https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/hope-guide-faith-leaders-help-prevent-youth-suicide.pdf

No Wrong Door Marketplace resources are curated by the Ohio School-Based Center of Excellence for Prevention & Early Intervention. 513-529-2450

 

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