September is Suicide Prevention Month

Let me be so bold as to say that we all have a name. We all have a story. We all have a hole in our heart. We all have some confusion in our soul.

Doug

We graduated from High School together. Talented in a lot of areas including being the lead in the school musical Oklahoma. Youth group buddy. First year in college we grew even closer. And then he was gone. Details fade but the hole does not. The hurt has calmed but the questions persist. Why? is the big one. Is there anything I could have done? is another. My guess is that an overwhelming majority of us could describe details just like I have about someone we’ve lost without having to think too hard.

September is suicide prevention month (for more information or help click here) and unlike so many of the issues du jour, this is an important one. I don’t want to take anything away from National Coffee or Ice Cream day – but this focus addresses a growing epidemic not named Covid but has been made worse by it for certain.

A recent study by the CDC (link here) shows that 1 out of 4 young adults have thought about suicide in the recents months. It also shows 3 out of 10 unpaid caregivers and 2 out of 10 essential workers have done the same. Just let that sink in for a moment. Suicide is not something that happens over in some corner of the world no one knows about but in the middle of main street in plain sight for everyone.

I am grateful that we are becoming more aware as a society to our mental health. But we have a long way to go. Just like our heart or lungs, our mental state is vital for us to take seriously and seek help for. Particularly in this time of Covid, when our normal patterns of life are disrupted, it is even more important to pay attention to state of our mental health.

Here is what I do know –

You are not alone. Help is available. Your life is important.

Here is what else I know –

I want those who have lost someone and are struggling with questions to have peace about one at least – Suicide does not prevent an entrance into heaven. It does, however, cut short the opportunities for heavenly joys on earth.

My prayers are for God to provide healing for our entire self (body, mind and soul) and comfort for any grief we may be experiencing. Would you join me in praying these prayers with urgency?

Published by Todd Nelson

I'm one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I've served for the past thirteen years. The sub-title of this blog is "Grace is no accident" which happens to be the defining reality of my life. God's grace (gift) is the reason we have breath in our lungs and hope in our hearts.

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