Gbenga Offo (Nigerian, 1957–), “Fervent Prayer,” 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 121 × 173 cm.
Suicide Prevention and Gun Violence
Every year, almost one million people take their own lives. In the United States, the annual number of suicides has been steadily climbing toward 50,000. These deaths, along with many unsuccessful attempts, have rippling and long-lasting effects. Suicide and attempted suicide devastate loved ones, divide families, and cause grief for entire communities. Survivors often suffer debilitating shame, guilt, and self-doubt. The pervasive availability of firearms in the U.S. only exacerbates the problem.
Our institute’s namesake, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, considered suicide during the very dark days of his imprisonment. His agony, like that of so many others, motivates us to explore how we can address the suicide crisis and find hope and chances for prevention, even in the darkest of times.
Schenck Talks Bonhoeffer
On this week’s episode of Schenck Talks Bonhoeffer, TDBI president Rob Schenck talks with Glen Bloomstrom, a retired military chaplain, licensed psychotherapist, and director of Faith Community Engagement for LivingWorks, an international organization that provides suicide prevention training and tools to help clergy, human services providers, and community leaders to intervene in the chain that can lead to tragedy.
Blending Scriptural wisdom and proven best practices, LivingWorks Faith is designed for all Christian ministry leaders who want to learn to effectively prevent, intervene, and minister around the issue of suicide in their congregations.
Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors
In this practical handbook, psychologist Karen Mason equips ministry professionals to work with suicidal individuals. Integrating theology and psychology, she shows how pastoral caregivers can be agents of hope, teaching the significance of life, monitoring those at risk and intervening when they need help.