Rick Warren, Saddleback Church Pastor and author of The Purpose Driven Life, offered video encouragement to those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts during this National Suicide Prevention Week. He emphasized that “no matter how dark things are, there’s always hope.” He shared, “We all face dark days and thoughts of suicide affects people of all ages. There’s a misconception that suicide only affects young people, but the highest rates of suicide are among men my age. This breaks my heart and I want to say to all of you, I am sorry for the pain that you’re experiencing. Please know you are not alone. No matter how dark things are, there’s always hope.”
According to the World Health Organization report: Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative, more than 800,000 people die by suicide across the world annually. Among that number is 30-year-old Andrew Stoecklein, a pastor of Chino, California who preached about mental illness and his own battle with depression and anxiety. He took his life last year. Then there is Jarrid Wilson, a pastor and mental health advocate. Just hours after Pastor Warren’s Facebook message came the public announcement that, at the age of 30, he took his life. Even closer to home, Pastor Warren’s son, Matthew, fatally shot himself at the age of 27 in 2013 after struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts since childhood.
Warren encouraged all those struggling with suicidal thoughts to remember three things:
- There’s a purpose for your life.
- You are loved.
- You are needed in this world.
Please, if needed, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK. Please talk to someone. As I too have been open about my battle against depression and suicidal thoughts, I also invite you to receive regular encouragement from my Facebook page, I Have Victory Over Depression. You are not alone. Stay encouraged.