LEAWOOD, Kan. — Sunday marked the start of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
One local church, serving thousands of members, is opening its doors to the entire community, no matter your faith. It’s part of their 2030 vision to reduce the number of suicides in Kansas City by half.
Around 13,000 people listen to United Methodist Church of the Resurrection sermons each weekend. This weekend is different.
Church members will have a new goal outside the sanctuary: to keep the conversation going about suicide prevention.
“Our hope is that anyone who has been touched by suicide, anyone who has contemplated suicide might be here and join us,” Senior Pastor Adam Hamilton said. “Our hope is to give them hope and help as we’re moving forward.”
Hamilton said they’ll do that through the sermon and scriptures read by parents who have lost children to suicide.
You’ll also hear from a man who survived a suicide attempt at the Golden Gate Bridge. Plus, there will be a leader in suicide prevention in Kansas City there to talk about the signs to look for.
“You may not feel like you need this message because you think well I will never feel suicidal,” Hamilton said. “But somebody you know and love is going to need some of the tools or some of the helps that we’re going to offer.”
Counselors and licensed therapists like Director of Counseling Ministries James Cochran will also be on hand.
“I would love it if we got to a day where there were zero suicides,” Cochran said.
He hopes some of the materials they plan to give out, like Family Discussion Guides, coasters and car stickers with catchy sayings will saturate Kansas City making it easier for people to say “I’m not OK'” and get help.
“So that long before somebody feels suicidal, they’re equipped with the tools to communicate their experience to somebody else.”
Resurrection offers 15 free counseling sessions to anyone in the community, church member or not.
“Life cut short is terribly tragic and the pain that ripples out from that,” Hamilton said. “So we’re hoping that this is one small way, along with a lot of other things people are doing throughout Kansas City, to be able to reduce the number of suicides and for people to find hope.”
If you would like to attend a service to learn more about suicide prevention or sign up for free counseling click here.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, we urge you to get help immediately.
Go to a hospital, call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).
Click on the boxes below for our FOX 4 You Matter reports and other helpful phone numbers and resources.