ideas all around us: suicide prevention

This week, I’m doing what we can all do: Noticing. Keeping my eyes open for College Ministry ideas in daily life, from a multitude of sources that have nothing whatsoever to do with college ministry.

When we look at the world through the lens of our calling, God might just put some ideas in our path.

A couple of days ago, an episode of Friends featured a suicidal guy (Jason Alexander of George Costanza fame, in fact). Yesterday on Cash Cab, somebody joked about having to kill themselves if they missed a question. Obviously, both references were played for comedic effect (and I promise I’m not encouraging that). But since I was looking for college ministry ideas, it led me to something very serious.

Are you prepared NOW for the day when you face the need for suicide prevention, or when the topic comes up in a serious way?

You might not have the time to search the internet for resources, or to ask around for a good Christian counselor or minister to refer a student to. You might not have the chance to find a book to help you know what to say to one of your students’ roommates, when your student calls in the middle of the night, freaking out. Somebody may be across the table from you and note that they’ve “been having some really dark thoughts” – it’s doubtful you’ll want to ask them to hold on while you search your phone for a Best Practice for that situation.

And when someone commits suicide – a student on campus, a family member of a student, or even someone in your ministry – are you going to be ready to shepherd? Could the campus even call on you as a resource in that dark time?

This summer, I encourage you to develop a simple expertise and simple plan for this area. Maybe share it with your student leaders and staff. Please be ready.

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