In our opinion: Involving clergy is vital to suicide prevention

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  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2018 3:24 p.m.

    As many of the previous comments have emphasized, it isn't the lack of clergy involvement that has resulted in so many suicides. So in my estimation, it isn't actual clergy involvement that would be beneficial, rather the -right kind- of clergy involvement.

    Not to make concepts too difficult, but perhaps just some basic non-judgemental compassion and caring.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Sept. 8, 2018 10:39 a.m.

    "churches play a vital role. They offer a sense of worth and purpose, in addition to the social benefits of belonging to a congregation of fellow believers."

    Have you read King Benjamin's speech lately?

    And the social benefits of belonging only derive to those who are judged "worthy". All others are ostracized, ignored, left out, and condemned. That's one of the big problems!

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Sept. 8, 2018 9:57 a.m.

    Impartial7,

    Amen. I saw it first hand as a local Church leader, and the fact that it is a serious problem was attested by a clinical psychologist friend of mine who specializes in treating anxiety and depression among religious women.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Sept. 8, 2018 9:33 a.m.

    "...churches play a vital role. They offer a sense of worth and purpose, in addition to the social benefits of belonging to a congregation of fellow believers."

    What happens when church "belonging" and dogma lead a person to suicide? There are many instances wherein the need for "belonging" is counter to an individual's struggles. Dogma kicks in to tell that suffering person that they are inherently evil/flawed/undeserving. What is left?

  • ToadkillerDog Centerville, UT
    Sept. 8, 2018 9:26 a.m.

    I went to a suicide prevention conference last year. One of the interesting facts provided was that there was an increase in suicides after meeting with clergy, but no effect after meeting with a therapist. Clergy seem to be part of the problem.

  • Utah Democrat Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 8, 2018 7:51 a.m.

    Churches are the birthing point for many suicide attempts as people feel disconnected from their families, friends and lifestyles. We don't need untrained laypeople taking on this role in society, we need mental health access and compassion.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 8, 2018 7:44 a.m.

    In many cases, especially in Utah, religious guilt or religious exclusion factors into many suicides.