Suicide Prevention

About Suicide Desperation

Learning how to talk about a really hard topic.

By Patty Cole

May 15, 2018


Talking about suicide is hard. We often avoid even saying the word, using instead “took his own life.” Yet it affects almost all of us in one way or another. The statistics say it all:

·       1 in every 17 adults is currently considering suicide as an option.

·       1 in every 6 high school students has seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months.

·       1 in every 3 persons has experienced the suicide of someone close.


On April 19, Atkinson Congregational Church hosted a workshop on suicidal desperation. We were led by Michelle Snyder of Soul Shop, and David Reynolds of the Pastoral Counseling Services of Manchester. Faith leaders from several churches in NH and MA were in attendance.


In the workshop, we learned how to listen to each other and what some warning signs might be. We also considered suicidal desperation from spiritual and scriptural perspectives.  The workshop was both informative and inspiring. We left it feeling better equipped to help those in our congregations.


Because this is Mental Health Awareness Month, and because April, May and June are the months with the highest suicide rates, we wish to share with you more information. On Sunday, May 27, two members of our congregation will provide more information during our “Missions Moment.” Also, read Four Tips on How to Have a #RealConvo with a Friend from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to learn more. The target audience is college age people, but really the advice found in this article would be helpful to those of any age.


People who are experiencing suicidal desperation often feel a loss of hope, and a loss of social connection. Being part of the church is likely to help with both of those issues. If you need help, please reach out. If you see someone who might need help, let’s talk to them. It is hard to talk about, but we can all help each other.