Suicide prevention month finds two prominent depression and suicide prevention leaders committing suicide!

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Jarrid Wilson, a Southern California megachurch pastor and mental health advocate, died by suicide Monday.

“Wilson, 30, was associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, under Pastor Greg Laurie. He co-founded Anthem of Hope, a mental health nonprofit helping people dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts. He is survived by his wife, Julianne, and two sons, Finch and Denham.”

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“The executive director of counseling and psychological services at the University of Pennsylvania died by suicide Monday morning in Philadelphia, officials said.

Gregory Eells became the head of the department at UPENN in March.”

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My two cents: WOW! I am perplexed on many levels, extreme sadness is one emotion.

How does religion handle a suicide like this? Usually your condemned, a mortal sin in the Catholic Church. This pastor lived an exemplary life of giving and service.

On a personal level, they had a role similar to mine. The pastor mentored others with depression and mental illness, like this blog and my mindfulness group.

This is conflicting for me, I have compassion for their struggles but my father would win if I committed suicide.

All those that follow me or have been helped by me would be impacted negatively.

If you are the leader and committ suicide, have you considered those your leaving behind?

In the confusing throws of negative thought and unhealthy emotions reality slips away.

One thought dominates after a while, we never know what another is experiencing or thinking.

I have been touched by suicide in my mindfulness group. It is devastating for the survivors.

I wonder if one of the Dalai Lamas has ever committed suicide?

Next post will be on Dalai Lamas physician who was captured by the Chinese and tortured. An Amazing story.

Please share your thoughts.

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11 responses to this post.

  1. I read about Wilson yesterday. Very sad. I hadn’t heard about Eells. It is always hard for me to figure out why people who seem to have it all commit suicide since I think the only way I would do so would be if I lost everything (my husband, became homeless, etc.) or was in unbearable long-term physical pain. But I guess depression is a beast that can’t be understood.

  2. Thanks for your insight.

    Anthony Bourdain had everything it seemed.

    We can not see their thoughts, their self image or mental anguish.

    When I hit bottom, my stubbornness would not even consider it because my father would win. I did not have to live for my kids or grandkids, my father winning was all it took.

    Each of us has to decide our fate.

    One therapist, who rarely was brilliant told me, you can go so far down, you will not find your way back.

    I never added to my suffering from then on consciously.

    If we develop gratitude, a deep sincere gratitude for our blessings and give to others suicide has a much harder journey.

  3. When you say “On a personal level, they are me” you might consider saying instead, “they held a role similar to mine”. We don’t know the full story of these people who chose suicide. As you know, dangerous people can hide in plain sight, and we don’t always know the insidious influence they hold over others, even people who head mental health departments or church congregations. I love your clarity on your own choices.

  4. Correction accepted

    We were sufferers or suffering from ptsd or depression and were mentors

    I agree

  5. Posted by Anonymous on September 11, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    I don’t know enough of the backgrounds for these 2 men. For me, i was suicidal for most of my teens and 20s. I don’t know why i never actually did the act. Was i too much of a coward? Did i have some spark of hope for things to get better? Or was I concerned what others would say/ feel?
    Now in my later years, I’m glad i made it. It took the first 50 for me to feel happy, at least for the last dozen years. Depression again! Why!???

    Suicide thoughts? No! I know i would leave too many people I love very lost. My parents lost out since i lived and made a good life for myself and those around me that i care so much about.

    I am very sad each day, but taking it step by step.

  6. Thanks for sharing. Life is hard and not fair.

    You have made it this far, and hoping you experience some joy.

    You have fought hard to survive, please have gratitude for your courage and effort.

    I salute your willpower and spirit

  7. Posted by jeanetteirene on September 11, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    I like this last comment, as I agree with much. I have dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts for much of my life, but, now, at age 58, I find much more peace and happiness, than depression. AND, I always consider those who will be left behind and the hurt I would cause them. In my role as counselor/therapist, doing suicide would undo every positive thing I ever did for all the people who know me.

    I thank this site and Marty for bringing me daily support.

  8. Thanks Jeanette

    Again life is hard, some of us seem to have a heavy burden

    Now I see many without the skills and willpower or resources to heal

    We overlook 20 vets everyday for last two plus years

    2 years and 14,600 vets have committed suicide

    Epidemic

  9. Posted by Anonymous on September 13, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Suicide…a permanent solution to a temporary problem!

  10. Very insightful! Especially seeing in the pastor’s point of view. I grew up in a Roman Catholic belief so it’s interesting how there is this eternal tug-of-war between leading by example and going through the struggles. A great read, thanks for sharing!

  11. Thanks for your insight

    I went to parochial grade school and high school

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