PENNSYLVANIA: In a Time of Rising Suicide, Religious Communities Move beyond Condemnation to Care

May 17, 2019
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  Pennsylvania

Religion News Service

Some Pennsylvania faith communities are working to address suicide. Following the suicide death of one of its young members, First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem helped provide support to those affected. Church leaders set up gatherings for grieving congregants and encouraged them to talk openly about their struggles. First Presbyterian Church of West Chester also set up meetings with mental health professionals for adults and teens, teaching them how to recognize signs of depression and reach out for help. According to Associate Pastor Caroline Cupp, faith can help protect people from suicide risk, but it can be harmful if it sends the message that suicide is shameful. “As a society, we don’t do enough to address this issue openly,” said Cupp. “Mental health needs to be talked about all the time.”

Spark Extra! Learn more about how faith community leaders can help prevent suicide.

Populations:  People in Particular Occupations
Settings:  Faith Communities
Planning and Implementing:  Stigma, Prejudice, and Discrimination