Training: The Role of Faith Leaders in Suicide Prevention

Post by Rob Taber

One of the great, unsung projects is Health & Human Services' Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In addition to working on responsible fatherhood and anti-obesity initiatives, it hosts trainings to provide faith leaders with evidence-based resources on public health issues, including mental health.

On September 17th, they're hosting a one-hour webinar for faith leaders on suicide prevention. From the release:

"The HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Faith Communities Task Force present this webinar for faith leaders who are often on the front line for people (and their families) dealing with spiritual, mental, or emotional distress or illness. Studies show that persons in need are more likely to go to a faith leader than a therapist, at least initially. Moreover, faith communities, through their traditions and teachings and also their commitment to care for one another, are resources for people (and their families) dealing with distress or illness. Local faith leaders are also often connected to wider community resources that can be of help. Therefore, faith leaders play an important role in addressing this preventable public health issue that affects the lives of millions of people each year. Over 38,000 suicides (2010) and one million suicide attempts (2009) create ripple effects among families, friends, co-workers, and communities.

"This webinar will provide information that faith leaders need to know in suicide prevention (e.g. warning signs, how to help). It will also offer ways faith leaders can help educate their communities about suicide and mental health issues and provide support for persons whose loved ones have completed or attempted suicide. In addition, it will help faith leaders understand and strengthen the resources they have in their own faith tradition that promote mental and spiritual health and/or can help in suicide prevention."

As we Latter-day Saints are all faith leaders of one sort or another, if you want to watch the training, sign up here, and please pass it along to anyone you think might be interested. These webinars tend to be excellent, evidence-based trainings, and sadly under-attended. So if you want to know more, sign up!

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