A few years ago, Newsweek Magazine made a heartbreaking observation in the form of a paradoxical question. Speaking of El Paso County, Colorado, home of Focus on the Family and over a hundred other Christian ministries, they asked:
How is it possible that one of the top five places to live in the country also suffers from one of the worst teen suicide rates?
According to the most recent information, 49 youth under the age of 18 died by suicide between 2014 – 2017 in El Paso County.
Focus families have felt this tragedy acutely since many of our children attend schools where children have died by suicide. The high school where our sons, Trent and Troy, attend was reeling last year after a student took his life in a very public setting.
Sadly, the tragedy of teen suicide is not limited to Colorado. According to research from the Centers for Disease Control, three thousand children between 9th and 12th grade attempt to take their own life every day. That number would be even higher if middle school kids were included.
What can be done about it?
In response, Focus on the Family has created a resource that we’re eager to get into the hands of parents, teachers and church youth workers. It’s called Alive to Thrive: A Biblical Guide to Preventing Teen Suicide. It’s now out and ready to share with your family, friends, schools and churches.
Thanks to the generosity of our faithful donors, the content is completely free.
We believe that God will use this resource to save many lives, but we need your help to get the word out.
The online resource is divided into six parts:
Part 1: The Best Defense against Suicide
Part 2: Things That May Make Your Child Vulnerable to Suicide
Part 3: Mental Health Issues and Suicide
Part 4: Technology and Suicide
Part 5: Problem Behaviors and Suicide
Part 6: Dealing with the Issue of Suicide
In addition to the practical information in print, the resource also features videos depicting insightful and emotional stories – and tangible solutions to the suicide epidemic.
If you or a loved one or friend interacts with teens, I would strongly encourage you to check out our website. The resource will equip you to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, infused with solid biblical principles that sets this resource apart from other suicide prevention programs.
The subject of suicide is a sobering topic and frankly, it’s not very pleasant to even proactively broach the issue. But all of us would rather deal with the discomfort of proactively addressing it to prevent it rather than suffer the consequences of its tragic aftermath.
Please know that our counseling team stands ready to help with anyone who feels they’re in an unsafe spot. We offer complimentary consultation from a Christian perspective. To reach us by phone, please call 1-855-771-4357 weekdays between 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Mountain time).
By taking the time to share Alive to Thrive with your network, and pray for the teachers, youth leaders, pastors and parents in your community, you’ll be helping to save young lives. We are grateful for your support.