In an effort to invite members of the Church to “take an active role within their communities to minister to those who have thoughts of suicide or who are grieving a loss,” the Priesthood and Family Department sent out a worldwide letter addressing the topic of suicide.
The letter, dated August 9, 2018, details the Church’s doctrines and principles regarding suicide, warning signs, how to help someone in a crisis, and how to respond after someone takes their own life.
Here are a few excerpts from the letter:
The rising suicide rate in many areas of the world is an issue of great concern. The purpose of this document is to assist parents, families, Church leaders, and Church members as they seek to
minister to those affected by suicide. Members may use this resource to learn about Church doctrine on suicide, the warning signs of suicide, how to help someone in crisis, and how to respond after a suicide loss. Leaders may use this resource to lead meaningful discussions with members in stake and ward councils and in other settings. The purpose of these discussions would be to help leaders and members minister more effectively to those who have been affected by suicide.
Always take seriously the warning signs of suicide and any threats to attempt suicide, even if you think the individual is not seriously thinking about suicide or is just seeking attention. Follow these
three steps to offer support—Ask, Care, Tell.
The grieving process after a suicide can last a long time. If someone continues to feel intense pain or grief, counsel with others who care about the person. Prayerfully consider how you can best
offer support. You might want to help the person obtain a priesthood blessing or connect with resources in your area. Grief support groups, doctors, or other health care professionals may be helpful.