Upcoming Class: A Safe Space for Starting Conversations About Suicide and Its Prevention

Kay Klinkenborg will facilitate two classes on suicide from 10:00-11:30 a.m., Nov. 9th and 16th, in King Hall and online via Bridges. Masks are required and seating with social distancing. This will be a safe (unrecorded) environment to talk about one of the most difficult subjects in our lives: words hard to say — suicide and suicide prevention. The class will provide an opportunity to learn tools, resources and creative ways to have a real conversation with the people in your life. You don’t need special training to have an open, authentic conversation about mental health. Often, just talking about it can be the first important step in staying connected for yourself or someone else and helping get support or treatment if needed.

Bringing up the subject of suicide DOES NOT increase the chances that a person will become suicidal or be more apt to act on such thoughts or impulses. In fact, it is just the opposite.

A sacred circle of safety will be the structure of the classes. Most people in our age range have some personal experience with suicide of someone they know. Some know the private struggle of suicidal thoughts or plans. Safe, non-judgmental listening will be modeled when personal stories are shared. One hard fact is that the senior citizen population is at high risk for suicide in America. There is the possibility that our loved ones, family members, grandchildren, friends, etc., could present with suicidal tendencies at any time. These classes give us an opportunity to become informed on how to be supportive and caring during these difficult encounters.

This is an integrated program designed from two sources: The book, The Living Saving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention by Rev. Rachael A. Keefe, a memoir and practical guide for educating congregations about talking about suicide and prevention paradigms. It’s available on Amazon.com in paperback, Kindle or used. The church office has 5 copies for those wishing to borrow the book. Reading the book is not mandatory for attending the classes. The second source for the classes: professional and volunteer training models on suicide prevention collected by Kay Klinkenborg.

Topics covered (but not limited to): current statistics across age-groups; risk factors; warning signs; you hear “talk of suicide…what to do”; Triple A’s Model of Prevention; survivors responses to suicide; self-care; the church’s response to suicide; resources for help… for individual use or to share; and scriptures of hope. Short DVDs, didactic presentation and learning from each other are the modalities of these classes.

Kay Klinkenborg currently is a Spiritual Director/Companion; a retired RN, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Clinical Member of AAMFT (American Assoc. of Marriage & Family Therapists). Kay is a member of Church of the Palms.