Elizabeth Eaton On Suicide Prevention


Elizabeth Eaton On Suicide Prevention

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[Elizabeth Eaton On Suicide Prevention]

[Elizabeth Eaton (Presiding Bishop: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America):] Source: LYBIO.net
There are some things we are not very good at talking about, some things that still carry a stigma and so remain hidden. Suicide is one of these things maybe because it’s frightening, unfathomable maybe because we were taught that is an unforgivable sin. There are over 42,000 deaths a year in the United States by suicide, a person between the ages of 15 and 24 dies of suicide about every two hours in America. There has been an increase in death by suicide among those serving in the military and the toll on family, friends and communities of those left behind is significant and long lasting.

Clearly, suicide is something we need to talk about. Suicide is a result of painful and persistent feelings of depression, despair and hopelessness often is the final desperate act of an individual, who has come to see life as intolerable and seeks to end that pain. It is not a forgivable sin. We are never beyond God’s mercy and compassion. The Psalms wrote, where can I go from your spirit or where can I flee from your presence. If I ascend to heaven you are there: if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.

If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea even there your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say surely the darkness shall cover me and the light around me becomes night even darkness is not dark to you, the night is as bright as the day for darkness is as light to you. Suicide is a tragic consequence of a mental or behavioral disorder, properly seen as a disease of the mind and a health condition. We know that suicide can be prevented through early identification of individuals at risk who received prompt care and treatment.

Open and honest conversation about mental illness and suicide that does not stigmatize people in awareness of spiritual and psychological resources that are available in congregation and communities will save lives.

Life is precious and is a gift from God. We as members of the Body of Christ can respond with compassion and action to those members of Christ’s body who feel hopeless and alone. It is time for the church to break the silence.

If you or someone you know needs information or help please call 1800-273-8255 or go to www.LutheranSuicidePrevention.org.

Elizabeth Eaton On Suicide Prevention

Elizabeth Eaton On Suicide Prevention

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