I recently read an article titled “Is Faith Relevant to Death by Suicide?” It related, “49,500 people died by suicide last year in the US, the highest number ever.”
“The CDC lists anxiety and depression as significant factors with regard to suicide; teens and their parents are especially at risk. Serious illness such as chronic pain, criminal/legal problems, job/financial problems or loss, impulsive or aggressive tendencies, substance use, current or prior history of adverse childhood experiences, violence victimization and/or perpetration, and a sense of hopelessness are the other factors cited.”
Sadly, suicide is a recurring matter within the human experience. Last years suicides were probably related in some cases to the depression created by the isolation brought on by the pandemic.
An associate professor at Harvard Medical School and the founder of the Center for Anxiety, David H. Rosmarin, in a recent article titled “Why religious belief provides a real buffer against suicide risk,” made the point there is “substantive scientific evidence that faith is in fact enormously significant in helping to save lives.”
To summarize his findings: “religious faith helps people counter hopelessness, the best-known predictor of suicide.”
Rosmarin’s research reiterates a point I have made regarding suicide. Those who are suicidal are not looking for reasons to live, everyone has reasons to live. The suicidal have lost hope that life will give them relief from whatever is making them consider suicide. What the suicidal need is hope that life will eventually give them relief, not death.
This is what the suicidal person needs, hope, and this is what faith in a loving heavenly Father who is kind and will see them through whatever it is they are facing gives them; faith in God gives them hope. So faith is relevant to having hope when we face the trials and troubles in this life.
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence,” Psalm 42:5.