To coincide with the National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September and the World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, the LDS Church has published a Preventing Suicide web page.
PreventingSuicide.lds.org provides essential information for those who are contemplating suicide, including links to crisis hotlines. It also describes proactive measures that people can take if they are worried about someone who might be considering suicide. Finally, it reaches out to those who have lost a loved one to suicide with counsel and comfort.
The website’s Help and Support section is for people either struggling with suicidal thoughts or worrying about someone who is struggling. It includes a list of warning signs.
Also featured on the website is the video “Sitting on the Bench: Thoughts on Suicide Prevention.” In the video, a young man named Seth shares what led to his suicide attempt and how he later found hope in the love and acceptance of his family and the Lord.
“Obviously, we do not know the full circumstances surrounding every suicide, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught. “Only the Lord knows all the details, and he it is who will judge our actions here on earth. When he does judge us, I feel he will take all things into consideration: our genetic and chemical makeup, our mental state, our intellectual capacity, the teachings we have received, the traditions of our fathers, our health, and so forth” (“Suicide: Some Things We know, and Some We Do Not,” Oct. 1987 Ensign, 8.
What can I do?
Suicide is preventable, but it requires more awareness and action on everyone’s part. PreventingSuicide.lds.org lists these three actions:
- “Know the signs. Become familiar with the warning signs of suicide. Visit Befrienders Worldwide or the Mayo Clinic to learn more.
- Start talking. Know how to start a conversation with someone you are worried about. Visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for tips on what to say.
- Be a friend. Support someone who is struggling by actively listening to their concerns, being nonjudgmental in your comments, and helping them locate resources where they live.”
PreventingSuicide.lds.org is the second Church website published in the past sixty days that deals with serious public health issues. The web page Mentalhealth.lds.org was published June 21.
- A Gospel Topic page that explains doctrines and principles that relate to suicide. Learn about the recent update to this page.
- Church magazine articles about suicide in the September issues of the Ensign, Liahona, New Era, and Friend.
- Preventing Suicide web page at PreventingSuicide.lds.org.
- Mental Health web page at MentalHealth.lds.org.
- Church News article.
- Article in the Church’s Newsroom
- Article in the Deseret News
These efforts represent a first step to help people understand that it is ok to talk about depression and suicide. A notice has been sent to ward and stake leaders about these new Church resources.
As you share this information with your friends and family, you may wish to use the hashtags #SuicidePrevention, #SuicideAwareness, #itsokaytotalk, or #ChoosingToLive.