The three-digit number 988 is quickly becoming as much a part of our shared life as 911. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a national hotline that provides 24/7, free, and confidential mental health support to anyone in need. Within the first year, 5 million contacts were responded to. The numbers are staggering, and the hotline continues to find high-risk populations, including indigenous people, people with disabilities, and rural men.
But this remains a culturewide problem. From 2021 to 2022, the suicide rate increased by 2.6%. Christians have a significant role to play in offering hope. Parents, teachers, pastors, and other mentors need to be equipped to spot vulnerable young people and to connect with them, ultimately pointing them to Jesus Christ, the source of all hope. The “Hope Always” course featuring Dr. Matthew Sleeth is available online, can be accessed anytime, and can be studied alone or as part of a community committed to providing healing to hurting neighbors.
Go to educators.colsoncenter.org for more information.
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