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Clergy Engagement in Suicide Intervention and Aftercare

Study Description:
This study will gather input from U.S. full-time or part-time Catholic, Jewish and Protestant clergy about their engagement with suicide using a survey. Clergy will be asked questions regarding demographics and how many suicidal people request clergy help annually. Clergy will be asked to respond to three vignettes and will be asked about their knowledge and opinions about suicide.

Thank You!
Thanks to the nearly 1,000 clergy members who completed our survey during 2012. We closed the survey in December 2012, and we are now working at publishing the results.

Once we have them ready for view, we will post them here, so bookmark this page and check back in early Summer 2013.

For questions about the pending status of the results, feel free to email Research Manager, Day Marshall at dmarshall1@gordonconwell.edu.

The Facts:

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. It affects Americans of all ages. Among adolescents, suicide is the third leading cause of death; among young adults, the second leading cause of death. The largest numbers of suicide deaths occur among middle-aged males; the highest rates, among older adult males. The highest rates and numbers of attempts occur among women.
  • 25% of people with mental health problems seek help from clergy. Suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts are some of the significant predictors of making contact with clergy. In fact, in one national study, suicidal people who sought treatment were as likely to contact clergy as other providers.
  • Based on survey results, we will develop a web-based training for you and other members of the clergy in Spring 2012 to help you in your work with suicide.
  • You will be sent a $10 Amazon gift certificate and a list of suicide-related internet-based resources for clergy in appreciation of your participation.

Who are the researchers?

  • Karen Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
  • James D. Wines, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center
  • Day Marshall, Research Manager
  • Richard Kuo, Graduate Research Assistant

The Association of Theological Schools is funding this study.

Click here to view valuable suicide prevention resources.

Webinar Update

Thank you for all of the great questions and discussion during our webinar that occurred on May 17, 2012. Due to the frequent requests for copies of the slides and audio of the webinar, we are making these materials available to you here.

Slides: During the webinar, we had slides for each presenter which contained a large quantity of data and resources that is helpful to many of you. Click here to download the slides.

Audio: Follow this link to listen to the audio recording of our May 2012 webinar for clergy.