“Whoever saves one life, it is written as if they have saved all of humanity.” [Qur’an 5:32]
Many of us probably know someone who has been impacted by suicide personally. Sue Morgan’s death by suicide has left many people confused and wondering if they should have said something, done something, or sought help for themselves or their loved ones sooner. The answer is that it never hurts to bring up if you are worried about a loved one if you wonder if your own mental health needs some care or if you think someone is displaying suicidal ideology. Please reach out to me if you have questions and may need a referral for other help. We have to be a team in our community to help one another.
Our Lay Pastoral Care team and I have addressed when we are tipped off to someone sharing a suicide plan and because of these events, we are brushing up on our own skills around suicide prevention. Churches are proven to be able to make a huge difference in preventing death by suicide. Speak up if you hear a story or wonder if you or a loved one may need help. We have lots of resources to share with you.
I have spent hours and hours praying and examining those left behind after Sue Morgan’s passing. I am struck by how many people, even people she didn’t know that was profoundly impacted by how she died. From the train engineers to the people working and walking across the street that watched it happen, the ripples go beyond this community and her loved ones. Suicide is a permanent decision. If you wonder at all if you need help, please contact me, Rev. Suzelle Lynch, the Lay Pastoral Care Team, or any of the resources below.
Pandemic has exacerbated these issues and we all need support going through the impact of Covid on emotional and mental health. Everything is related. We are a community that is part of a system. Our health is a system too. Let’s care for the whole system.
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2017). According to the CDC, Americans attempt suicide 1.1 million times a year and a life is lost to suicide every 12.3 minutes. Suicide is present within all religious communities – even UU.
I send you so much love.
Assistant Minister for Pastoral Care
P.S. Please check out these resources:
To address this issue, The Family & Youth Institute (FYI) developed community resources to help suicide attempt survivors, suicide loss survivors, those with suicidal ideation, and family and friends affected by suicide. These suicide prevention and intervention resources include: 1) a community action guide, 2) prevention infographics, 3) intervention infographics, 4) a toolkit and 5) a video by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention featuring Dr. Sawssan Ahmed, an FYI researcher.
The FYI has worked on providing this extensive information to help the community not only better understand those affected by suicide, but also how to best support them. These resources are available at The FYI Suicide Prevention and Intervention Resources page.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
The NAMI HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. ET.
The NAMI Crisis Text Line: Text NAMI to 741-741.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Suicide Resources.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Warning Signs of Suicide. What to do if You Suspect Someone is Thinking About Suicide: NAMI. English version. Spanish version.
#BeThe1To campaign materials. #BeThe1To is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s message for National Suicide Prevention Month and beyond, which helps spread the word about actions we can all take to prevent suicide.
Faith.Hope.Life suicide-prevention campaign for faith communities.
Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency: NAMI. English version. Spanish version.
Mental Health Ministries Suicide Prevention Resources
Suicide Prevention Resource Center – Faith Communities Resources
The Role of Faith Communities in Suicide Prevention – a Guidebook for Faith Leaders