Youth Ministry and Suicide

Why should a youth ministry be involved in suicide prevention and mental health ministry?

Because more teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.

According to the annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey for grades 9-12, in 2019, for each year of high school.

  • Suicide was the number one leading cause of death
  • 25% of high school students had a diagnosable mental health condition.
  • 18.9% of high school students thought seriously about suicide.
  • 15.7% thought seriously enough about suicide to make a plan
  • 8.9% of teens in grades 9-12 attempted suicide

Putting it into a realistic perspective may help understand the need. If your local high school has a thousand students, then on average

  • 250 of the students are suffering from a diagnosable mental health condtions such as depression or anxiety
  • 189 of them are thinking seriously about suicide
  • 157 have thought seriously enough about suicide to have made a plan on how they would end their lives.
  • 89 make an attempt at suicide

With numbers this staggering, you can see how a mental health ministry to youth can make a huge difference in the lives of young people in your community. It is also why having everyone who works with youth in your church be trained to recognize the signs of suicide and how to help a young person who is thinking of suicide. It can also be important to have many of the young people themselves to participate in this type of training.

There are many places you can get this training. However, there is only one training program centered on suicide prevention for churches. Our training goes way beyond just the standard suicide intervention training that other organizations provide. Our training also includes information on developing a mental health ministry and how to minister to those whose lives have been affected by suicide.

If you want more information about having us provide training for your church, contact us with the link on the side of the page.

One of the best ways for a church to provide this training is to have someone go through our “Train the Trainer” training. Once they do this, they will be equipped to do the training for leaders and members of their church and provide our other training for the people in their communities.