Regarding the Loss of Robin Williams: A Note to Church Leaders

Source: The Wrap

Source: The Wrap

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.       – Robin Williams

Like so many of us, I was devastated to hear about the death of Robin Williams yesterday, August 11. As I struggle with my emotions, I feel an overwhelming compulsion to address church leaders.

Pastors, preachers, teachers, and leaders, I implore you: Please don’t reduce the loss of Robin Williams to a talking point about Hollywood ‘not having the answers’ or ‘not having anything to offer’ this weekend. Continue reading

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Teen Suicide, The LGBT Community, And The Church

Recently, I wrote a paper about adolescent suicide as an assignment for a counseling class. While researching this topic, I came across some startling statistics that I feel like I need to share. First, did you know that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States?[1] In adolescents (15-24), suicide is the third leading cause of death[2]! That means that, after accidents and murder, suicide kills more of our young people than any other factor.[2] This blows my mind! Still crazier, this rate skyrockets for adolescents in the LGBT community, with suicide being the number one cause of death.[3] In fact, LGBT youths are “two or three times more likely to commit suicide” than there straight peers, typically as a result of “the debilitating effects of growing up in a homophobic society”.[3]  Some research suggests that upwards of 50% of LGBT adolescents attempt suicide.[4] I think it obviously points to a larger societal issue when nearly half of any one demographic attempts suicide.  Continue reading