Thursday, September 10, 2015
World Suicide Prevention Day
Today in Canada …11 people will end their lives by suicide.
210 others will attempt to end their lives.
77-110 people will become newly bereaved by suicide.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, an important reminder to us all that we can support those living through serious depression. I have been in this role during my 35 years of pastoral ministry, sitting alongside those who are certain that life has no meaning and that ending the pain could only come through terminating this life. More than once it was in bleak psych ward rooms, which are often the most depressing in any hospital. Go figure. Those were occasions of gentle talk and gentler prayers.
I am also aware today of being involved with a number of families who have lost loved ones to suicide. How does a pastor offer consolation or speak of the love of God to those who feel abandoned and inconsolable? It is difficult not to feel helplessness and even defeat in those circumstances.
I can say that within Christian community there are individuals who were convinced that they are beyond hope have returned to mental stability and health. Some live through the cycles of mental illness and are supported by brothers and sisters in Christ who love and uphold them. Those who have suffered loss realize that they are not alone.
Please say a prayer today for those who are dealing with depression. Consider who you might call or visit. Ask God to remove any sense of judgement or criticism in your heart toward those who "just can't get on with life." Reach out to those who have experienced loss to suicide, even if it happened years ago. Live the love of Christ.