Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints struggling with thoughts of suicide or giving assistance to friends and families are now able to access the new “Preventing Suicide” webpage launched by the Church.
“The fact that the church has put out a website about suicide shows that it is relevant to us and that we should learn more about it,” said Leilani Auna, director of the Counseling and Disability Services at BYU-Hawaii.
Auna said she believes it’s important for young adults to understand the topic of suicide. “Some people may tell you to keep their thoughts of suicide a secret and young adults are unsure of how to act and how to help. So I think this is a great website by the Church,” said Auna.
Suicide is the tenth-leading cause of death in the United States and the seventh leading cause among men and boys, according to Deseret News. A person dies by suicide somewhere in the world every 40 seconds, and more than 800,000 people die by suicide every year, according to the Word Health Organization.
Ephraim Insigne, an accounting freshman from the Philippines, said, “This webpage is like a prophetic counsel given by the Church to help us handle this sensitive situation. We don’t know who we can help with this information.”
The new website provides information and resources for people struggling with suicidal thoughts, family and friends who are concerned about someone at risk and those who have lost someone to suicide, according to Mormonnewsroom.org. It also includes links to other websites listing warning signs and to crisis helplines around the world.
“I’ve seen the website before, and it is cool because it shows the Church cares,” said Daniel LeBaron, a sophomore from Utah studying international cultural studies. He said the new website featured a video called “Sitting on the Bench: Thoughts on Suicide Prevention,” which helped him understand the kinds of thoughts that can lead to suicidal thoughts. He said the video also talks about how others can help someone find hope. “When we understand these kind of people, we will know how to help them,” said LeBaron.
The new webpage was announced on Thursday, Sept. 8. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, September 2016 is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
A notice has been sent to church leaders to notify them of the new suicide prevention resources. More information can be found on preventingsuicide.lds.org.