News Release

World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day - 10 September

Church website shares resources to inform and give support to individuals and families

Suicide is a tragic and complex issue. Depression, mental illness, personal crisis, isolation and prior attempts represent a few of the risk factors associated with suicide. According to the World Health Organization, about 800,000 people take their own life and many more attempt suicide each year. In addition, suicide is the third leading cause of death in the world of 15 – 19 year olds.


World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day is 10 September. It is held each year to raise awareness and encourage communities to share resources and information.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosts a Suicide Prevention and Ministering website with information and videos to provide support and guidance for individuals, parents, families and leaders. On the site it states, “The rising suicide rate in many areas of the world is an issue of great concern” and that people “may use this resource to learn about Church doctrine on suicide, the warning signs of suicide, how to help someone in crisis, and how to respond after a suicide loss.”

Elder Dale G Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in the video, Understanding Suicide, “We know from all the statistics out there, that someone in the ward [congregation] is hurting. . . What we need to do as a Church is to reach out in love and caring for those who have suicidal thoughts, who have attempted suicide, who feel marginalised in any way. We need to reach out with love and understanding and you do that in concert with healthcare professionals, and with ecclesiastical leaders, with friends and family support.”

For those who have suicidal thoughts, or those who have an immediate concern for others, crisis help lines are listed on the Church’s website. These help lines reach across the world, are free of charge and are staffed by people trained to help.

In his 2013 General Conference talk Like a Broken Vessel, Elder Jeffrey R Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared these words of encouragement to choose life, “Whatever your struggle, my brothers and sisters—mental or emotional or physical or otherwise—do not vote against the preciousness of life by ending it! Trust in God. Hold on in His love. Know that one day the dawn will break brightly and all shadows of mortality will flee.”

The website offers insight and hope to grieving parents and families left behind. It also has suggestions on how to help survivors and how to talk about suicide in councils and families.

President M Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in the video Sitting on the Bench: Thoughts on Suicide Prevention, “There is nothing more powerful than the arm of love that can be put around those who are struggling. . . I think we can have an impact in guiding people to some of the resources that are available that they may have no idea exists. I say we keep our antennas up. We watch out for each other, we love one another, and we leave the judgments, the eternal judgments, to our Heavenly Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ, who know all things.”

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