Suicide Prevention Resources for Mormons

Note: Spunky’s excellent post, Mormons and Suicide, has brought to our attention the need for suicide prevention resources for Mormons. Spunky wisely suggested we follow up her post with this one. If you know of other useful resources, please add them to the comments.

If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, please call or email a suicide hotline right away to speak confidentially with a trained professional. Most hotlines are available toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 Australia: 13 11 14

Canada (Link through for the phone number in your province.)

Ireland: 1850 60 90 90
jo@samaritans.org

New Zealand: (09) 5222 999 within Aukland; 0800 543 354 elsewhere

United Kingdom: 08457 90 90 90
jo@samaritans.org

U.S.A.: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

LDS Counseling Services
LDS Family Services (International)

Suicide Prevention for LGBT
The Trevor Lifeline (USA): 866 4-U-TREVOR (488-7386)

Readings for Mormons in Distress

Q&A: Sometimes I feel so hopeless I want to end my life. What stops me is the fear of hurting my family and being punished in the next life. Shouldn’t there be a better reason to live?

Rising Above the Blues

Light in Darkness

Healing the Tragic Scars of Abuse

Prayer for a Friend Contemplating Suicide

Important Facts about Suicide

Suicidal thinking is usually associated with problems that can be treated.

Clinical depression, anxiety disorders, chemical dependency, and other disorders produce profound emotional distress. They also interfere with effective problem-solving. But you need to know that studies show that the vast majority of people who receive appropriate treatment improve or recover completely. Even if you have received treatment before, you should know that different treatments work better for different people in different situations. Several tries are sometimes necessary before the right combination is found.  

If you are unable to think of solutions other than suicide, it is not that solutions don’t exist, only that you are currently unable to see them.

Therapists and counselors (and sometimes friends) can help you to see solutions that otherwise are not apparent to you.  

Suicidal crises are almost always temporary.

Although it might seem as if your unhappiness will never end, it is important to realize that crises are usually time-limited. Solutions are found, feelings change, unexpected positive events occur. Suicide is sometimes referred to as “a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” Don’t let suicide rob you of better times that will come your way when you allow more time to pass.  

Problems are seldom as great as they appear at first glance.

 Job loss, financial problems, loss of important people in our lives – all such stressful events can seem catastrophic at the time they are happening. Then, month or years later, they usually look smaller and more manageable. Sometimes, imagining ourselves “five years down the road” can help us to see that a problem that currently seems catastrophic will pass and that we will survive.  

Reasons for living can help sustain a person in pain.

A famous psychologist once conducted a study of Nazi concentration camp survivors, and found that those who survived almost always reported strong beliefs about what was important in life. You, too, might be able to strengthen your connection with life if you consider what has sustained you through hard times in the past. Family ties, religion, love of art or nature, and dreams for the future are just a few of the many aspects of life that provide meaning and gratification, but which we can lose sight of due to emotional distress.

Do not keep suicidal thoughts to yourself!

Help is available for you, whether through a friend, therapist, or member of the clergy. Find someone you trust and let them know how bad things are. This can be your first step on the road to healing. (Source: http://www.suicidology.org/web/guest/thinking-about-suicide)

Prayer for a Friend Contemplating Suicide

Tenacious Tree

Tenacious Tree by Rachael Lauritzen

i want to say—do not let your hallowed body leave this imperfect earth
give in to every temptation but the one that robs us of your sacred intensity
your gift of utter selflessness that slips into self-immolation
come back to us
i don’t want your memory—i want your body
that too large heart beating next to mine
we have things to do
let’s begin
over and over
let’s begin
amen.

Sara Burlingame
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Exponent II Vol. 31, No. 2

April Young Bennett

April Young Bennett is an advocate, mother, professional, lover of the arts, hater (but doer) of housework and seeker of truth. Twitter: @aprilyoungb

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4 Responses

  1. Spunky says:

    THANK YOU, APRIL!

  2. Fran says:

    Fantastic idea. I’m not sure how helpful Elder’s Scott’s talk on “Healing the Tragic Scars of Abuse” will be, since it suggests in part that victims are responsible at some point for the abuse if they seek not help, but otherwise…I guess it’s a fairly nice talk. Just wanted to point that out. I think the talk as the potential to increase guilt and shame vs. being really helpful.

  3. Diane says:

    I really hope that recent events don’t make people go into the closet and suffer in silence. There is such a stigma attached to mental illness (in secular as well as religious communities) that it makes it hard for someone to really open up and talk about anything in concrete terms.

  4. Ron says:

    IDK if this is too late. I am a Mormon and I am suffering from mental illness and thoughts of suicide is on my mind on a daily basis. After a recent separation from my wife and child, all I can think of is taking my life. What really hurts me the most is that I tried to get help from my bishop, but he’s at a lost cause. Which to me is that their is no hope for Mormons suffering the suicide thoughts. If this ends up being my last message to those who I love and know, I’m sorry for putting you thru this and that God will judge me when I decide to leave this earth. It would have been nice for Mormons like myself who could get help inside the church instead of going to outside resources. A lot of what I am going thru is having to do with the church and my marriage. Please pray for me as I hope I don’t do anything stupid that results in another life lost to no help from the church.

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