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Thursday, March 8, 2018

More Religious Leaders Challenge Silence, Isolation Surrounding Suicide

Cheryl Platzman Weinstock
Originally posted February 11, 2018

Here is an excerpt:

Until recently, many religious leaders were not well-prepared to talk about suicide with their congregants. Now some clergy have become an important part of suicide prevention.

"Where there's faith, there's hope, and where there's hope, there's life," says David Litts, co-leader of the Faith Communities Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.

Arnold also leads that task force. "If someone dies from heart disease, for instance, or in an accident, they may wonder where God is, but when someone dies by suicide, a whole lot of other questions get raised," she says. "When you can't talk about this in church, then it feels like God can't talk about it either."

But in her church, she says, there isn't shame surrounding suicide. During the pastoral prayer, for instance, she says she lifts up congregants dealing with cancer, heart disease or mental health issues. "It's a way of signaling to people this is a safe place to talk about such things and be honest about them."

The article is here.