The Ark has begun a series of community conversations on the epidemic of teen suicide.
In his book, Crisis Counseling*, on Christian handling of crisis and trauma, Dr. H. Norman Wright clears up myths about suicide. At our recent community forum, Real Stories: Teen and Pre-teen Trauma in our Community, Rev., Dr. Stephen Wiley rapped and presented how suicide affects teens in our town. Paraphrased facts from their information includes the following:
Myths About Suicide
Myth #1 Suicide and attempted suicide are in the same class of behavior.
This of course, is not true. Those who commit suicide want to die. Except for some persons who kill themselves accidentally, those who attempt suicide usually want to live and are crying out for help.
Myth #2 Suicide affects only a specific class of people.
On the contrary, suicide affects all types of people from all walks of life. There are, however, some important distinctions.
- Suicide is more common among white males than black males.
- Overall, more males commit suicide than females. For example:
- Girls age 15 are responsible for one suicide for 64 attempts.
- Boys that age have one suicide for 6 attempts. In other words, at age 15, boys are ten times more likely to commit suicide than girls. (Wright. p.100*)
Myth #3 People who talk about suicide do not usually commit suicide.
This is false. Eighty percent of people who have committed suicide have told someone of their intentions prior to the act. Therefore, any threat or warning of suicide must be taken seriously.
Myth #4 Once a person is suicidal, he or she will always be suicidal.
No. After treatment, many persons are no longer a threat to themselves.
Suicide Myth #5 The tendency to commit suicide is inherited.
The potential to commit suicide is not transmitted genetically. However, one’s family environment and examples may be influencing factors as learned behaviors.
Suicide Myth #6 Christians do not commit suicide.
This is not true. No one is immune.
*Crisis Counseling, Copyright 1993, by H. Norman Wright (ISBN 0-8307-1611-4)
- Norman Wright (D. Min., DD., D. Lit., MRE, MA) is a licensed Marriage, Family and Child Therapist Research Professor of Christian Education at Biola University. Also, at Biola he has taught and was former director of the Graduate Department of Marriage, Family and Child Counseling and Associate Professor of Psychology. He served as Talbot School of Theology’s Associate Professor of Christian Education and Director of the Graduate Department of Christian Education and was in private practice for over thirty years. He has continued to write several books on Christian counseling in crisis and trauma since Crisis Counseling was first published.
Rev. Dr. Stephen Wiley is a Muskogee native, family man, jazz drummer and founder/pastor of Praise Center Family Church in Muskogee and Tulsa, Oklahoma. He teaches full time as Assistant Vice President, Director of Christian Ministries, Assistant Professor of Religion, at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He is credited as the founder of the Holy Hip Hop Scene and his music has been recorded with and by major rap performers. His discography includes Bible Break (Brentwood Music, 1985), Rappin for Jesus (Brentwood Music, 1986), Rap it Up (Brentwood Music, 1987), Get Real(Brentwood Music, 1989), Rhythm and Poetry (StarSong Records, 1990), and
Rhapsody (StarSong Records, 1991)
Prayer for Times of Hopelessness*
Father, as Your children, we come boldly before Your throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in this time of need.
Father, I know that Your ears are open to our prayers. I ask You to listen to our prayers, O God, and hide not Yourself from our supplication!
We are calling upon You, our God, to rescue us, rescue our city, our families, our youth from this spirit of suicide and hopelessness. Redeem our lives in peace and comfort in You.
Whenever suicide and hopelessness would wait to swallow us up and trample us – we are not afraid. We have confidence and put our trust and reliance in You. By Your help, God, we will praise Your Word; on You we lean, rely, and confidently put our trust; we will not fear.
You know our every sleepless night and thought of suicide and depression. But each tear, each heartache is answered with Your promise. We thank You now with all our heart. Pull our souls from the brink of death and the cliff of suicide. Put us in a place of comfort and leisure with You, Dear God.
Father, we wait, hope, and EXPECT Your peace in the land of the living.
So now, Father, we cast all our cares and worries upon You, for You always think about us and are watching everything that concerns us. We are vigilant, watching out for attacks from Satan, our great enemy. By Your grace we stand firm, trusting You, knowing You are full of kindness and grace through Christ, who gives us Your eternal glory.
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