Pastoral care and suicide
In Australia death by suicide is about three times more common than motor vehicle fatalities. Suicide is also the leading cause of death amongst 15–44-year-old Australians. The sadness of these statistics is that behind every one of these cases is a person in desperate need, a family in grief, and a community struggling to make sense of what often seems so senseless.
Letter to a church following a suicide
This letter reflects some of the key pastoral care messages which would be useful following a suicide in a Christian community. These are just some of the key messages. Other information such as identifying details would depend on, and need to be worked out in, the individual situation.
Suicide Prevention Resources
10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day, an awareness day observed each year to encourage commitment and action to prevent suicides. The Mental Health & Pastoral Care Institute has put together a resource of information and ideas for how your church might mark this day and how churches can contribute to suicide prevention.
Chris tells the story of her daughter Gillian who took her own life after struggling with severe mental health issues from the age of nine until her death at 26. She shares about the impact of Gillian’s illness on their family, as well as how she wrestled with God through this time and how God was with them through a very difficult and traumatic time.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call one of the following national helplines: Lifeline 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467