Jay Lowder, founder of Jay Lowder Harvest Ministries, today released practical resources to combat rising suicide rates. Made available in recognition of September's Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the free assets are available on Lowder's ministry website, jaylowder.com/suicide.
"While September is reserved for speaking about suicide prevention, hurting people from diverse backgrounds confront this epidemic every day," said Lowder, who is author of Midnight in Aisle 7. "Self-violence is without prejudice and affects people from every race, ethnicity, economic status and gender. Movies stars, actors, singers and blue- and white-collar workers have all fallen victim. No one is immune."
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. with more than 44,000 dying each year, and the pandemic is growing. In 2015, the suicide rate among girls between the ages of 15 and 19 reached a 40-year high, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Lowder offers a number of helpful items at jaylowder.com/suicide to inform individuals of key indicators and warning signs that often precede suicide including an infographic, video and podcast episodes addressing the issue. Additionally, he offers a white paper specific to leaders with practical suggestions for setting up ministry resources to help to those who are hurting.
Lowder understands these warning signs because many are some he personally exhibited prior to a suicide attempt years ago. At the age of 21, Lowder found himself living the life of an alcoholic. Unable to cope with the difficulties life had thrown at him, he held a loaded pistol to his temple, prepared to pull the trigger. Thankfully, Lowder was saved by an unexpected, yet timely visit from his roommate.
This event set Lowder on a path that led him to individuals who helped him find hope through faith. Today, he is a full-time evangelist who uses his experience to help others.
"It is more important than ever to understand and recognize the warning signs of a person who is in potential danger and find ways to help them before it is too late," said Lowder. "If we encourage open discussion regarding this sensitive topic and pay attention to the indicators that often foreshadow suicide, perhaps we can, together, lower the statistics and save lives."
For more information, visit jaylowder.com/suicide.
Jay Lowder is founder of Jay Lowder Harvest Ministries, an organization that exists to bring hope to individuals while inspiring others to do the same. In addition to speaking at churches, schools and community events, Lowder is also author of Midnight in Aisle 7 and producer of the television show, The Darkest Hour. For additional information, visit JayLowder.com.