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.”
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.
Often, the simple offering of hope and social and spiritual support can avert a suicide attempt entirely.
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.
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.
Let's change this.
A class can be held at your location
We ask that you provide the following:
- Large enough space to seat expected students and room to spread out for practice role plays
- Projection screen or a light-colored blank wall
- Projector (we can provide a projector if you do not have access to one)
- Water and other refreshments/light snacks if you choose
No Registration Fee
Dr. Leger has graciously agreed to provide this training to churches without requiring booking or speaking fees. All we ask is that you take up a love offering during the training to support this vital ministry to ensure more churches have the opportunity to receive this life-saving training.
Continuing Education Credit and QPR® Certificate Available
Your Next Steps
Start saving lives as well a souls
SCHEDULE A CALL
We'll take a few minutes and discuss your situation to determine your best plan of action.
HOST THE TRAINING
We'll provide interactive training to give your congregation the tools and confidence to support others.
Just like CPR, QPR Suicide Gatekeeper training saves lives. Care for the whole person.