Dr. Karen Mason Publishes New Book to Guide the Church in Suicide Prevention - Gordon Conwell

Dr. Karen Mason Publishes New Book to Guide the Church in Suicide Prevention

Dr. Karen Mason, Professor of Counseling and Psychology and Director of the Hamilton Counseling Department, released a new book titled The Essentials of Suicide Prevention: A Blueprint for Churches. Having previously managed the Office of Suicide Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Dr. Mason is dedicated to creating resources to help people develop suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention systems in their communities.

She begins The Essentials of Suicide Prevention by encouraging all those undertaking this important task: “While suicides are not always predictable, some are preventable. . . . Pastors and congregants in ordinary churches have the precious words of life and hope to share with suicidal people.”

Dr. Mason shares more in a brief interview:

Gordon-Conwell: Tell us more about why you wrote this book.
Dr. Mason: The church has a unique role in suicide prevention. Non-religious suicide prevention organizations don’t bring faith into the conversation about what prevents suicide, and people who struggle with suicide often wonder if the Bible or their church has anything relevant to say about the issue. The church can’t remain silent about how faith and the church help prevent suicide when the church can answer the question “Why stay alive?”

Gordon-Conwell: For whom was the book intended?
Dr. Mason: The book was written for people in the church: pastors, lay ministers, and congregants. As suicide rates grow in our nation and in our churches, everyone in the church is needed to help prevent suicide. This book provides a blueprint for how to do that.

Gordon-Conwell: What do you hope people will take away from reading this book?
Dr. Mason: I hope people will take away from the book eight essential elements for suicide prevention in the church and the hope that the church can stop the climbing number of suicide deaths. Too often the church doesn’t know how to walk with people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or how to support those who have lost loved ones to suicide. These eight essential elements make the point that the church, and everyone in it, has a crucial role in suicide prevention and care, and it provides the resources on how to do it so that faith communities aren’t on the sidelines.

Get your copy today! Read Dr. Mason’s New Blog Post