Helpful Information for Faith Communities
HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR FAITH COMMUNITIES
Resources To Support Faith Leaders In Their Ministry
- Non-Emergency Navigator line: 440-240-7025 | Learn what mental health services are available close to your faith community, or call to connect to a mental health provider.
- 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Hotline: 1-800-888-6161 | Call if someone is experiencing a psychiatric crisis, or if you need advice on how to support someone with mental health needs.
- Educational Opportunities | Visit our Eventbrite page for upcoming free training opportunities on how to see and respond to the warning signs of mental illness. Or, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org to have a trainer come to your religious facility or community group to provide a QPR class, also for free.
- Support Groups and Grief Resources | Find a support group for families that are challenged by providing care to someone with mental illness, or that have lost someone to suicide.
How Faith Communties Can Help
A Message of Hope From Pastor Darrell Shumpert
- Initiates social connections with other members
- Creates a sense of belonging to a group
- Offers trustworthy and safe social engagement
- Helps people to cope with difficult life situations (i.e. a ceremony for the loss of a loved one)
- Provides structure, regularity and predictability
- Allows for time to rest as well as holidays and other special times of the year
- Provides guidelines to live by (i.e. the importance of doing the right thing)
- Teaches compassion, forgiveness and gratitude
- Identifies life lessons, even from challenging situations
Sample Prayers | With Guidance From Faith, Hope, Life, an initiative of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
We pray for those affected by hopelessness as well as people dealing with suicidal thoughts. We ask that you provide them with comfort and guidance, and the placement of a support system in their life to let them know that they are important and that they matter and that they’re not alone. We also pray that you use us, members of this community, to be a support, to BE THERE, to be a listening ear, and a comfort to those in pain, hopeless, and alone. Move our feet, Lord, and help us not only to pray but to take action. We thank you for the support and guidance you have put in our lives, and we ask that if or when the time comes and a wave of hopelessness or suicidal thinking comes over one of us here today, that we’ll find the capacity and the bravery to speak up, speak out, and ask for help from a friend, a loved one, a counselor, or a member of our congregation. Amen.
We come to you to give thanks for this day, which provides us with another opportunity to bask in the glow of your love. We thank you because you are so gracious and kind; we thank you for your abundant love, your loving kindness.
God, we ask right now that you heal the hearts of those who are emotionally wounded, that you allow those who feel alone and abandoned to feel your Spirit. For those of us who feel so lost and forlorn that we can no longer sense your presence, we ask that you send someone to be your eyes, your ears, your arms and your heart so that they can experience your love. When we are at the point where our faith tank feels like it’s on “E”, send someone who is willing to loan us a little faith until we can experience your love for ourselves again.
We ask that you send us an angel, be it in the form of a friend, a counselor or safe medication and medical help so that our spirits can be lifted once again. We ask that you help all of us have compassion and love for those of us suffering through the throes of depression, anxiety and other emotions that sometimes try to snuff out our spirit. We pray for those affected by hopelessness as well as people dealing with suicidal thoughts.
It is common to need help at some point in our lives. God puts us here for each other. Weeping may endure for the night but joy can come in the morning. Move our feet, Gracious God, and help us not only to pray but to take action. We thank you for the support and guidance you have put in our lives, and we ask that if or when the time comes and a wave of hopelessness or suicidal thinking comes over one of us here today, that we’ll find the capacity and the bravery to speak up, speak out.
We offer up this prayer in the name of the One who promises to love us with an everlasting love.
We know that at times their suffering is great and their isolation can seem unbearable. May they experience the love and support from our community that is the hallmark of God’s love, as we reach out to them in love.
Also, we ask God to show his hand in helping them experience the effective treatment they need from doctors and counselors and caregivers.
Join me to pray for those who are suffering, pray that God’s good news would, as the prophet Isaiah affirmed and Jesus proclaimed, “bind up the broken hearted and proclaim freedom to the captives.”
We pray for those who care for and love our brothers and sisters who daily face the many challenges of living with mental illness, in any of the many ways those conditions manifest themselves. Their work can be exhausting.
Rise up in us a caring community, to be partners with caregivers, counselors, and other helpers of those with mental illness, and encourage their support in times of need.
I pray this day for all whose lives have been touched by suicide, for families and friends, colleagues and co-workers, who have been touched by the suicide of someone close to them, and I pray for those who have died by suicide.
I pray this day for those who, because of depression, live with thoughts of suicide. Depression can look like sadness, but it can also look like anger, or sleeplessness or restlessness, or disengagement.
I pray this day that I keep learning, about how to see the signs of depression, how to notice when someone isn’t quite acting like his usual self, sending me signals of distress, so that I can reach out with love.
I pray this day for those who live in despair and without hope.
I pray this day for counselors and therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, who are caregivers, and our friends and partners in helping our brothers and sisters be whole and well.
I pray this day for all who seek to help.
On this day, on this day and on EVERY day, please join me in asking God that He might give us the courage and wisdom to be there for others in distress, to offer love and our care for the common and treatable illness of depression, to help break the silence and change the conversation about suicide,
to be a listening ear, His hands, and His heart for others.
Let’s be honest, life can sometimes feel overwhelming and challenging. Sometimes events can leave us feeling worthless, abandoned, or isolated. But we are a caring community that focuses on the hope that, in God’s time, life’s challenges can be overcome and bad feelings will subside. Through connections within our own community, we can find the strength to live out each day as God gives it. If that living ever becomes unbearable for any one of us, we should know how to access and provide connections and support, including the 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 1-800-888-6161.
God loves you and knows your struggles. Even when you walk through the valley of the shadows and feel that you don’t have the strength to face another day, God is with you. God can give you help through friends, loved ones, co-workers, members of your faith community, your pastors, and professionals such as counselors, therapists, and doctors. They can be God’s heart and God’s listening ear when you feel most troubled and alone.
If you know someone (including yourself) who needs help with the difficult challenges of life, has lost hope or withdrawn from others, feels trapped like there is no way out, or has no will to go on, reach out. Let others help. It could make all the difference. Where there is help there is hope.
Faith Radio Messages aired on WNZN Power 89.1 FM
Pastor Marilyn Parker-Jeffries | New Creation Baptist Church of Lorain
Rev. Dr. Carl P. Small| Second Baptist Church of Elyria
Pastor Rodney Thomas | Body of Christ Church of Lorain
Pastor Tim Williams | Greater Victory Christian Ministries
Pastor Vanessa Young | Point of Grace Ministries
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