Recently the LDS church launched a new “Preventing Suicide” website. The release coincides with National Suicide Prevention Month in the USA, as well as World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September. In a statement by Mormon Newsroom, “A person dies by suicide somewhere in the world every 40 seconds, and more than 800,000 people die by suicide every year, according to the World Health Organization”. The new website expands suicide prevention resources for both leaders and members. It is divided into 3 parts and provides information, resources and support for those who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide; for families and friends who are concerned about someone; as well as for those who may have lost a loved one to suicide.
Erik Hawkins, a spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said: “Every soul is precious to God and to the church and the loss of life to suicide is heartbreaking”. From the “Preventing Suicide” website: “Suicide is a serious problem in our homes, schools, churches, and communities. It does not spare people of any race, religion, age group, gender, sexual orientation, or marital status (see World Health Organization).” In the United States suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, and is increasingly a cause of death in both the 10 - 14 as well as the 15 - 34 year age group. Death by suicide became the number 1 cause of death for children aged 10 - 17 in the state of Utah this year.
SADAG (The South African Depression and Anxiety Group) reports that the suicide rate for children in South Africa aged 10 - 14 has more than doubled in the last 15 years and that suicide accounts for 8% of all deaths reported by academic hospitals.
The church site includes the following: information on warning signs; how to create a safety plan; relevant scriptures and talks by church leaders; links to medical resources, support groups and crisis helplines around the world. Also featured is the video: “Sitting on the Bench: Thoughts on Suicide Prevention” which the church released in December 2014. (There are more videos to watch here.)
If you, or a loved one, are struggling, the words of our prophet, President Thomas S Monson, remind us: “God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there.”
Visit the new website here.
Read about the Church's mental health resources here.