Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Ministry

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. -- PSALM 36:5

NEEDING SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT OVER THE HOLIDAYS?

The holidays are a lonely time when your family lives far away or time with your family opens emotional wounds that have never healed. Although a joyous time for many, the holidays can be especially lonely for singles celebrating with large gathering of family and friends. Please visit our websites for groups that can help if you are struggling and need help: Pastoral CareCelebrate Recovery; Support Groups (look under Add'l Ministries in the top nav); Mental Health/Suicide Prevention.

 

  • Contacts
     
  • Things You Can Do
     
    • Listen
    • Ask about it if you recognize signs and let them know that you care and don't want them to die.
    • Find out if they have a plan for suicide (if they do, this makes it more lethal)
    • Help them search out alternatives
    • Stay with the person if they are at high risk
    • Get others involved who are potentially helpful
    • Let them know help is available 24/7
    • Offer to take them to counseling
    • Pray for them and let them know it.
    • Know that early intervention is the key to success!

    Click "Suicide Prevention Ministry" in the designation list.

  • Things You Can Say To Help
     

    See It-Say It (From Minnesota Institute of Public Health)

    When a friend or family member engages in risky, unhealthy, or suicidal behaviors here is a simple caring, but assertive way to talk to them.

     

    • I care....express your concern and care first
    • I see....describe what you see or noticed
    • I feel....use a feeling word - worried, concerned
    • I'm listening...what is going on with you?
    • Have you been thinking of suicide, hurting yourself?
    • I want....you to talk with someone else, involve your parents, talk to the school counselor, etc.
    • I will.....go with you, make an appointment, give you a ride, call you tonight.

     

    Remember if someone is actively suicidal, get help immediately, do not leave them alone, and get medical or mental health assistance as a place to start the healing process. Seek spiritual guidance from your pastor.
    (From Sources of Strength, Inc.)

  • Why Seek Counseling?
     

    Counseling makes sense when you are having trouble coping with any situation or personal problem. It offers emotional support, new perspectives, and help in considering possible solutions.

    So if you just want someone to talk to, are having a lot of changes, are in distress or feel overwhelmed by a concern, or find that you keep repeating the same mistakes, then you might consider counseling.

    Some people don't succeed at counseling at first because of fear of change, unwillingness to deal with their problems, or it was not the right counselor for them. Often, people do not present the problem as it truly is but instead pick and choose what they wish to share. Some want the counselor to do an instant fix or do the work for them.

    While some individuals who seek counseling services may have serious problems, it is also recommended for any life challenge and adjustment issues that a person may face. The role of the counselor is not to "tell" you what to do, but rather, to present informed choices, direct you to resources, supply you with information that you may not readily have and also support you in understanding how to meet your needs.

    Weakness is actually the feeling that you can have when you are overwhelmed and are not getting help. It takes courage and strength to be able to get the help that you need.
    (From Savannah State University)

  • Sources of Strength
     

    This is a check list of things that you must be doing to keep your mental health in check:

     

    • Family Support. (I feel cared for, loved, supported by my family, take time for myself)
    • Positive Friends. (Friends that care about me, help me stay out of trouble, help me make healthy decisions.)
    • Caring Adults. (I feel I have strong friendships with adults that care about me other than my parents.)
    • Positive Activities. (I feel I'm involved in healthy activities, such as sports, arts, music, etc.)
    • Generosity. (I feel I have strong opportunities to help others, show leadership, make a difference through helping others.)
    • Spirituality. (I feel I have healthy beliefs and practice my faith, spirituality, culture.)
    • Mental Health. (I feel I have good access to a counselor or support group if I, my friends, or family needed one.)
    • Medical Support. (I feel I have good access to a doctor, nurse, clinic, or medication if I, my friend, or family needed it.)

     

    Which sources of strength do you feel are strong in your life right now?

    Which sources of strength do you feel need to be strengthed? If you were going to pick one or two to strengthen in the next two weeks, which would they be?

  • Do Not
     
    • Deny the person's feelings
    • Falsely reassure them
    • Challenge them
    • Not take seriously
    • Don't keep it a secret (better to lose a friendship than a friend)
  • Facts
     
    • Approximately 40,000 people complete suicide in the United States each year. Researchers tell us that this figure may be three times greater because of inaccurate reporting.
    • Depressive illness can prevent a person from thinking clearly. Depression can be treated. In order to save lives, we must recognize warning signs. Stigma associated with depression can deter a person from getting help.
    • More men die by suicide than women.
    • More women attempt suicide.
    • Talking about suicide does not give people ideas. It actually opens up communication and lets them know that you are comfortable hearing about it.
    • 80% of people who complete suicide give warning signs.
    • Suicide and depression can touch anyone.
    • Suicidal people are not crazy, that is a cruel word. Most are just depressed.
    • Depression can be treated with or without medication depending on the nature and other factors.
    • Suicide is not contagious, however, depression and mental illness can be inherited.
  • Mental Health Information for Faith Communities
     

    Click here to find information on the topics below.

     

    • What is mental health?
    • Important information for faith-based and community leaders
    • What can faith and community leaders do to become part of community conversations about mental health?
  • Screening Tools for Depression and Anxiety
     

    Click here to link to screening tools for

     

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Bipolar
    • PTSD
  • Mental Health Resources

Click "Suicide Prevention Ministry" in the designation list.