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CISM Training and Peer Support Team Development

Church Suicide Prevention

QPR® Suicide Intervention Training from a Biblical Perspective





Don't Just Save Souls. Save Lives!

Love offering-based Biblical suicide intervention training at your location

Even with our best intentions, churches are not always the resources they could be. Different attitudes toward suicide swirl about causing confusion. We miss the signs. We believe long-held myths concerning suicide.

Because of this, researchers Biebel and Foster note, "Within two years of a suicide, at least 80 percent of survivors will either leave the church they were attending and join another or stop attending church altogether. The two most common reasons for this are one, disappointment due to unmet expectations and two, criticism or judgmental attitudes and treatment.”

QPR Suicide Prevention for Churches

Why Churches?

The church plays a crucial role in suicide prevention

Despite these complications, the church plays a crucial role in suicide prevention for two reasons: Science and my own experience tell me that faith is important in suicide prevention. Studies have found that religiosity (not my term, but we'll go with it) protects against suicide.

In my own life, I recognize how important my faith is to me in difficult times, and I know I would never want to live life without it. Church leaders also minister at the intersection of theology and moral practice. They teach people to choose life. They guide how to build lives worth living.

They teach how to manage suffering. They monitor and intervene when suicidal people come to them for help. They guide faith communities in how to support suicide survivors. They partner with others in their communities. The US government recognizes the crucial role of faith-based leaders and communities in its 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action report. Pastoral caregivers have a vital and unique role to play in suicide prevention.

Helping hands offering hope for suicidal crisis

Often, the simple offering of hope and social and spiritual support can avert a suicide attempt entirely.

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Is your church or group prepared to save lives?

“Despite their best intentions, churches don’t always know how to help those facing mental health struggles,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Americans ages 15 to 34 and the fourth leading cause of death for those 35 to 44. LifeWay’s study found three-quarters (76 percent) of churchgoers say suicide is a problem that needs to be addressed in their community. About a third (32 percent) say a close acquaintance or family member has died by suicide.

Church groups can save lives from suicide
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You're not as prepared as you think

As pastors and church leaders, we tend to overestimate our preparedness to assist those in crisis.

Pastors are more likely to say their churches take a proactive role in preventing suicide than churchgoers are according to research.

  • 51 percent of pastors vs. 16 percent of churchgoers say their church has a list of mental health professionals who can treat those considering suicide.

  • 46 percent of pastors vs. 12 percent of churchgoers say their church regularly addresses mental illness.

  • 36 percent of pastors vs. 22 percent of churchgoers say their church has a lay counseling ministry.

  • 29 percent of pastors vs. 23 percent of churchgoers say their church has a trained counselor on staff.

  • 18 percent of pastors vs. 12 percent of churchgoers say their church has a crisis response team.

  • Biblically-based suicide training at your location or online

    Choose between 2-hour or 3-hour classes

    Both time formats cover:

    • Biblical perspectives on life and death

    • Biblical perspectives on suffering, hope, responsibilities of the family of God

    • Social and spiritual support

    • Current suicide trends and statistics

    • Suicide risk factors

    • Suicide protective factors

    • Recognizing suicidal behaviors and communication and warning signs