TUFF Services Suicide Prevention Ministry ™
A suicide prevention outreach ministry is a “hope and healing” ministry. While it involves prayer, counsel, visits and assistance, it is centered on providing more awareness, prevention education and healing support to those who are contemplating suicide and to those who have lost a friend or loved one to the act of suicide itself, within our communities. This requires an understanding of the impact of suicide and how people react to it and how God has called His people to respond. Above all, it requires us to have within ourselves, an unfeigned hope of healing that we can take to those in need.
The "Tuff Suicide Prevention Ministry” was created because of the significant need of awareness in our nation and the need in our local community, as well as in the body of Christ, to care for those dealing with suicide. The Tuff Suicide Prevention Ministry is officially chartered and it's existence is validated as an independent ministry, through the National Association of Christian Ministers. Our ministry has been properly trained and certified through a number of local and nationally recognized organizations and programs and some include: The Nevada Coalition For Suicide Prevention, the Suicide Prevention Training Institute, The Society For the Prevention Of Teenage Suicide, TSDT -(Teen Suicide Development Training), SafeTalk -(Suicide Alertness For Everyone), ASIST -(Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), CALM -(Counseling On Access to Lethal Means), QPR Institute and Nevada Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper training, and YMHFA -(Youth Mental Health First Aid). **Over 1,000+ hours of: Youth Mental HealthFirst Aid, Suicide Awareness, Suicide Prevention and Suicide Intervention training has been provided to our community**
Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. While its causes are complex and determined by multiple factors, the goal of suicide prevention is simple: Reduce factors that increase risk (i.e. risk factors) and increase factors that promote resilience (i.e. protective factors). Overall, prevention addresses all levels of influence: individual, relationship, community, and societal. Effective prevention strategies are needed to promote awareness of suicide and encourage a commitment to social change.
In 2015, 505,507 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm. This number suggests that for every reported suicide death, approximately 11.4 people visit a hospital for self-harm related injuries. However, because of the way these data are collected, we are not able to distinguish intentional suicide attempts from non-intentional self-harm behaviors.
Based on the 2016 National Survey of Drug Use and Mental Health it is estimated that 0.5 percent of the adults aged 18 or older made at least one suicide attempt. This translates to approximately 1.3 million adults. Adult females reported a suicide attempt 1.2 times as often as males. Further breakdown by gender and race are not available.
Based on the 2015 Youth Risk Behaviors Survey, 8.6 percent of youth in grades 9-12 reported that they had made at least one suicide attempt in the past 12 months. Girls attempted twice as often as boys (11.6% vs. 5.5%) and teens of Hispanic origin reported the highest rate of attempt (11.3%), especially Hispanic females (15.1%) when compared with white students (6.8%) and White females (9.8%). Approximately 2.8 percent reported making a suicide attempt that required treatment by a doctor or nurse. For those requiring treatment, rates were highest for Hispanic students with black males (4.0%) and Hispanic males (2.9%) having higher rates than white male (0.9%) students.
When it comes to suicide and suicide attempts there are rate differences depending on demographic characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity and race. Nonetheless, suicide occurs in all demographic groups.
The TUFF Suicide Prevention Outreach Mission:
"To provide the educational tools and resources within our communities, that will create more awareness of the warning signs and symptoms of suicide and to provide hope, healing and support to survivors -children, youth, and adults who have experienced loss"
Additional Facts About Suicide in the US
- The annual age-adjusted suicide rate is 13.42 per 100,000individuals.
- Men die by suicide 3.53x more often than women.
- On average, there are 123 suicides per day.
- White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2016.
- Firearms account for 51% of all suicides in 2016.
- The rate of suicide is highest in middle age — white men in particular.
In 2016, the highest suicide rate (19.72) was among adults between 45 and 54 years of age. The second highest rate (18.98) occurred in those 85 years or older. Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2016, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 13.15.
In 2016, the highest U.S. suicide rate (15.17) was among Whites and the second highest rate (13.37) was among American Indians and Alaska Natives (Figure 5). Much lower and roughly similar rates were found among Asians and Pacific Islanders (6.62), and Black or African Americans (6.03).
Note that the CDC records Hispanic origin separately from the primary racial or ethnic groups of White, Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, and Asian or Pacific Islander, since individuals in all of these groups may also be Hispanic.
In 2016, firearms were the most common method of death by suicide, accounting for a little more than half (51.01%) of all suicide deaths. The next most common methods were suffocation (including hangings) at 25.89% and poisoning at 14.90%.
**Is There Hope After Suicide?**
(A Biblical Perspective)
The first question: And the answer is yes. The dictionary defines suicide as "the taking of one's life voluntarily and intentionally." It is the taking of a life in a manner forbidden by God. It is murder—self-inflicted murder, but murder nonetheless—and God's Word states, "You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13).
Furthermore, life—all life—belongs to God. "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). We don't own life. God owns life, and He lends it to us at His pleasure to be lived for our pleasure and His glory. Life is not our own to destroy, so the destruction of life by suicide is a sin.
But suicide is not the unforgivable sin! Some have taught that suicide is unforgivable, but such teaching is wrong. Homicide is not the unforgivable sin. If that were the case, the apostle Paul would not be forgiven, for by his own testimony he informs us that he was guilty of murder (Acts 26:11; see Acts 9:1; 10:21). Homicide is not the unforgivable sin; nor is suicide the unforgivable sin. The senseless taking of human life is wrong, but it is not unforgivable, even if the life taken is one's own.
When Jesus died, He paid the penalty in full for all of our sins—past, present and future. In Him, our sins are removed from us as far as the east is from the west. God did not say, "I will forgive you as long as your sins are not too great or as long as you get around to confessing everything you did was wrong." If that were the case, we would all be condemned. But the Bible declares, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).
There is an unforgivable sin, but it's NOT suicide. Matthew 12:23 say, "Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come." Since the Holy Spirit is the one who convicts a person of sin, reveals the truth of the gospel, and helps him believe in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, anyone who continually rejects His promptings cannot be saved. That is the unforgivable sin---NOT suicide. It is believed that a Christian who kills themselves will still go to heaven. Our God is a loving and understanding being.
The second question: And the answer is yes. Christians can commit all kinds of sins. Christians are not perfect. In this life, we have not been fully sanctified, finally glorified. We still possess remnants of our old sinful nature, and in this nature resides the potential for every kind of sin. We have the capacity to contemplate crimes that we never commit. But even the contemplation is itself a sin.
Do you remember how our Lord Jesus expanded the meaning of the Ten Commandments with his own interpretation? For instance, the seventh commandment: “You shall not commit adultery.” Jesus said that if you lust after a woman in your heart, if in your own mind you commit adultery, you are guilty of breaking that commandment (Matthew 5:27-28). The sixth commandment: “You shall not murder.” Jesus said that if you are so angry you want to kill, if you cry to your brother, "You fool!" and you desire to destroy his life, then by that very desire you have broken the commandment (Matthew 5:21-22).
It is wrong for one to take his own life, but it is also wrong for one to contemplate taking his own life. And who of us has not in a moment of despair or frustration or self-pity contemplated, at least momentarily, the taking of his or her own life? The apostle Peter walked on water, and as long as he kept his eyes focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, he continued to walk on the water. But when he took his eyes away from the Lord and began to look at the treacherous waves around him, he began to sink (Matthew 14:29-30).
And yet sometimes in those deep waters we forget. Our faith, which is real, is nonetheless really weak. And the fogs of despair, discouragement and depression become so thick that we cannot see the face of the Lord Jesus. So we need to pray with the man at the foot of the Mount of Transfiguration, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
The third question: Well, that depends. What happens to any person who dies, regardless of how he dies? If that person is an unbeliever, that person may not go to heaven. If that person is a believer, that person may go to heaven. If the person who commits suicide is not a Christian, that person may not go to heaven. If the person who commits suicide is a Christian, that person may go to heaven. Actually, the bottom line with any of us, boils down to what our intimate personal relationship is between us and God. Then the real decision can be made.
The fourth question: The answer is no. No doubt many will feel guilty in this situation. Why were we not more sensitive? Why were we not more caring? Why did we not encourage him or her more? What should I have done? What didn't I pay more attention to what he or she was saying? It's all my fault.
No, it's not. God makes each of us responsible moral agents, and each of us is accountable to Him for our decisions and the actions that flow from those decisions. This does not mean, however, that others are without blame and without guilt. Yes, we ought to be more sensitive and more caring and more supportive and certainly more prayerful. There is much blame to bear, and we ought to confess our failures before God, but we are not responsible for another's decision. There is a big difference between failing to support someone who is suffering and the decision of the sufferer to take his or her own life; and while we may be guilty of one, we are not guilty of the other.
The fifth question: The answer is yes—God is still in control. God is in control of all, or God is not in control at all. If there is one exception, God is not sovereign. We may be tempted to say, “God was loving enough, but God was not powerful enough to stop that tragedy.” Or we may be tempted to say, “God was powerful enough, but God was not loving enough to stop that tragedy.” No, we must affirm both the love and the power of an all-wise God. God is loving—He's kind;
He's tender; He's merciful; He's compassionate; He's powerful; He's mighty; He's sovereign—and death by suicide is an awful, horrible, terrible tragedy. We affirm both the reality of a great God and the reality of a terrible tragedy, but beyond that we affirm that the great God was in control of the terrible tragedy.
Do we have questions? Of course! We want to ask a thousand whys, don't we? Why did God allow it to happen? Why did He not stop it? We want to know why God allowed sin to come into the world in the first place, don't we? God has answers for our thousand questions. He may give us an answer, or He may not give us an answer, but that does not alter the fact that God knows the answer. God knows what He is doing.
The sixth question: And the answer is yes. All of God's promises still apply to the person who suicides, for don't you see that all of God's promises in Christ are "yes" and in Him "Amen" (see 2 Corinthians 1:20). Suicide does not contravene the promises of God. Suicide does not place one outside the parameters of the promises of God. Suicide does not make null and void the promises of God. What about the promise of Romans 8:28 (KJV): "All things (even suicide] work together for good to them that love God." Yes, even that promise applies!
The seventh question: How should we respond in the face of this teaching from God's Word? We should cry. We should cry out in pain. The Bible says to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). This is a tragedy that calls for tears.
We should cry out in pain, and we should cry out in prayer and we should cry out in praise. But most of all, we can praise God for being God, for being the God He really is, for being the God whom we can trust even in the face of such tragedies. He is the God to whom we can turn with all of our questions and heartache and pain, and He is the God who has already triumphed for us in Jesus Christ.
"If you are desperate or despondent, do not believe that your sadness disqualifies you from Jesus' love or dismays your Savior. Instead, recognize that He is the Savior of the disconsolate and loves to call the sorrowful to His embrace"
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