Responding to Suicide: Practical Tips for Faith Leaders

In this presentation, participants will learn about the role of clergy in suicide prevention. Why someone might become suicidal, as well as, how to respond to someone expressing suicidal thoughts will be discussed. Participants will learn how to effectively assess someone for suicidal risk and how to intervene. Suicide within a faith community and the role of the faith leader in comforting the family and congregation will also be discussed. Resources for referrals will be provided.


  • Recognize the warning signs for suicide.
  • Learn how to assess for suicidal risk and respond appropriately.
  • Learn how to provide validation, empathy, and emotional support to someone expressing suicidal thoughts.
  • Gain a better understanding of suicidal thoughts and behavior from a spiritual perspective.

Presented by Matthew S. Stanford, PhD, CEO of the Hope and Healing Center & Institute; Sonia Roschelli, LCSW, LCDC of The Menninger Clinic; Lenni Marcus, LMSW of The Menninger Clinic.

Presentation in partnership with The Menninger Clinic.