The Suicide Prevention Collaborative of El Paso County is hosting an interactive workshop for clergy and other faith leaders to learn how to minister to people affected by suicide.
The Soul Shop seminar will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Rocky Mountain Calvary chapel, 4285 N. Academy Blvd. in Colorado Springs.
The event is free, and reservations are requested at https://bit.ly/3Lt74ld.
Attendees will learn how to identify suicide risk factors and warning signs, talk to an at-risk person, be a companion to people who have lost a loved one to death by suicide, know what the Bible says about suicide and integrate suicide prevention into their churches.
Faith communities are a natural setting for suicide prevention, coalition members say, as people who are religious tend to have greater moral objections to suicide.
And spiritual beliefs and practices tend to help people feel greater hope and connectedness and find meaning in their lives.
Faith leaders can lend a helpful listening ear and foster support for people at-risk of harming themselves, said David Galvan, director and trainer of Soul Shop and a member of the local collaborative.
“Our work is simply to move from quiet desperation to honest conversation,” he said in a statement.
“We believe all congregations are well-situated to be significant sources of hope and healing for those impacted by suicide.”
The collaborative, a large group of representatives from government and private sectors, has set a goal of decreasing deaths by suicide in El Paso County by 20% by 2024.
The county’s overall suicide rate remains high, at 176 deaths last year among all ages, a slight decrease from 178 deaths in 2020, according to the coroner’s office.
Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.