September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Over 800,000 people die by suicide worldwide every year. In the United States, suicide rates have surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years, with increases in every age group.
As part of ongoing efforts to help prevent suicide, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has recently done the following:
- Sent a notice to all leaders worldwide inviting members of the Church to “take an active role within their communities to minister to those who have thoughts of suicide or who are grieving a loss.”
- Published a 6-page guide “Preventing Suicide and Responding after a Loss” that reviews Church doctrine on suicide, the warning signs of suicide, how to help someone in crisis, and how to respond after a suicide loss. Leaders were asked to review this document with stake and ward councils and discuss how to support community efforts and how to inform members about available resources.
- Published an article in the September Ensign, “Suicide: Myths and Facts.”
- Published helps about suicide prevention in the September Friend magazine.
- Released a series of hopeful videos from Elder Dale G. Renlund, Sister Carol F. McConkie, a woman who found hope after surviving a suicide attempt, and a father who endured the suicide of his son away at college.
These recent efforts are in addition to the Church’s extensive resources at suicide.lds.org, which is also available in the Gospel Library app.
- See the list Best LDS Resources to Help with Suicide for an extensive list of Church and community resources.