Hi, this is the first ime I've posted here, but I wasn't sure how else to go about this. There is an article in the most recent issue of The Banner regarding suicide among youth. A couple of thoughts came to mind—it's not just youth, and let's be a real church family and have this conversation at a family level. It strikes me that it might help people contemplating suicide to hear from people who have been there and survived it.
An idea came to mind to compile a set of stories from CRC members who have been there, who have thought about committing suicide or have attempted it but survived, and (ideally) how life is better now, how they're glad they are still alive today, and about God's faithfulness and provision, about how God provided people or events in their life that helped them, and so on.
All I can think is that it could be incredibly powerful for someone who thinks that they can't handle one more day to hear about people who did, and about how there are better times, joy and blessings ahead. This would really open up the conversation and let members of all ages know that it's ok to talk about this stuff, they're not alone, and it's not about labeling someone as having a mental illness, or being depressed and that a lot of people have hit a low point in their lives and weren't sure they could go on, but did, and look at them now! This also gives those survivors an opportunity to use that low point to help others, to use it to strengthen God's family and kingdom.
Let's be a denomination that does something concrete and proactive and honest about this; let's be authentic and show our youth and others that it's ok to talk about the hard stuff.
Sorry, I got a little carried away with that, but this is on my heart this morning, and I hope this was an ok venue in which to raise this. I just imagine a pile of these stories on a website that our own members and people outside of the church can find, and hear about survival and hope and God's goodness. Ok, I'll stop now :)