Grounded Podcast

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Responding to the Suicide Epidemic, with Julie Lowe

Here’s a sobering reality: suicide has become the second leading cause of death for fifteen to twenty-nine year-olds. Hear from experienced counselor Julie Lowe on why suicides are rising and how Christians can respond with hope.

Episode Notes: 

Teens and Suicide: Recognizing the Signs and Sharing Hope booklet from Julie

“Suicide Is Not the Solution” blog post

“Hope in the Wake of Suicide” blog post

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Alejandra Slemin: Hello, my Grounded sisters. Welcome back to our weekly videocast and podcast, brought to you by Revive Our Hearts. I'm Alejandra Slemin.

Erin Davis: I am Erin Davis. It's Monday morning, but I'm just gonna get right to it. Alejandra, what are some of the fears you have as a parent? I know you're a momma of four, what are some of your top fears?

Alejandra: Things change within the different seasons of life of our children. Probably at the beginning, it was when they started walking, are they going to fall? Are they going to hit their head? How are they doing in school? Those sorts of things we think of. 

Erin: Yeah, well, there's something that I never thought I'd have to worry about when they handed those little bundles to me, and that's suicide. But it sure is on my mind a lot lately. I wonder, Alejandra, you've got one about to become a teenager. Is suicide something that is on your list of fears?

Alejandra: Honestly, it wasn't until we started preparing for this episode. It's something I've come across, too. And it has shaken me a little bit to pay attention to certain things in my children.

Erin: Yeah, me too. Our intent is certainly not to cause fear this morning, but to raise an awareness about something that is really important and growing for the past 15 years, mental wellness. We call it mental wellness, we call it mental health, we call it depression, we call it anxiety. We call it lots of different things. But the overall mental wellness of today's teens and tweens (tweens being those who are about to enter the teenage years) has seen an unprecedented growth in anxiety and depression in the past 15 years, and huge spikes among children in anxiety and depression. 

Alejandra: Yes. We don't show a lot of charts here on Grounded, but take a look at this one on your screen. There's a bar graph created by the CDC. You don't even have to pay close attention to the percentages. Just look at those spikes. Right now, as children get older, they seem to be experiencing a huge jump in depression and anxiety.

Erin: Yeah, I mean, those are massive spikes on that graph. I've got three boys in those spiking age ranges. So, I am paying attention. Right now, the average child between the ages of 9 and 17, which is really a pretty wide range. You're talking about your elementary school student to your high school junior for inpatient psychiatric treatment in the 1950s. 

So, think about that for a moment. As we head into this episode, it's now considered normal for a child to experience anxiety and depression. We're here to sound an alarm for parents and leaders and just all of us that are in the body of Christ.

Alejandra: We are certainly sounding the alarm on Grounded this morning because suicide has become the second leading cause of death for 15-year-olds to 29-year-olds. What is their hope, in the face of a growing suicide trend? Definitely we'll find out together.

Erin: I want to put some skin on this Alejandra. You and I were texting on Saturday because I spent Saturday all day in the ER with my grandma. It turned out she had a gallstone. But if you've ever sat in an ER waiting room, you know that you get to know the other people that are waiting. In that waiting room with us was a father whose son had attempted to take his own life. And that dad didn't really have tears to shed that I saw. As he shared with the rest of us who were waiting, he said he tried to take his own life again. This is something that that family had experienced over and over. He was just so deflated. They finally called him back. He just kind of shuffled to see the face of that son of his who had clearly lost hope. 

I never met the son, probably never will meet the son. But I was deeply affected by meeting that dad, who had to face what we're talking about here today. Yes, he is a statistic. But he's so much more than a statistic. He's an image bearer of God. He's a son. He's a friend. He's probably a brother. 

Alejandra: Yes. 

Erin: And he had attempted to take his own life.

Alejandra: It's interesting because you shared it with me and I started praying for you. But even though I didn't know this family or was with you there, it affected me too. 

Erin: Yeah.

Alejandra: This doesn't just impact parents. We've seen several pastors take their lives recently in the news. Even though I do not know them, I still feel unsettled by it. This is an issue that affects the church; it’s affecting the communities. So, we want to be equipped and ready to push back against the darkness.

Erin: Yeah. I posted just this morning on Instagram that we were doing this episode, and a woman commented to me that on her daughter's college campus, they'd seen three suicides already. She was deeply affected by that. I'm deeply affected just even hearing that. We're not that far into the semester. That's a startling number. Julie Lowe will be joining us today. She's a licensed professional Christian counselor. She's got more than 20 years of experience, and she's a momma of six. So, she's gonna be here to give us wise perspective. That's what we always want to give here on Grounded: hope, and perspective. 

We're gonna lean on you right now to hit the share button if you're watching live or even if you're watching or listening later. Because here's what I've been hoping, what I've been praying, what our Grounded prayer team has been praying. What if God could do this, what if He use the Grounded sisterhood to reverse the suicide trends that we're going to be talking about in this episode? Wouldn’t that be amazing, Alejandra?

Alejandra: I believe He can do it. I believe He can use His daughters in this world to do that. Well, we want to make a slight shift into this conversation before we hear from Julie. And guess what? We could do something significant to shift the battle against suicide.

Erin: We sure it can. It's not as hard as you might think. Now, no single factor can bear the full weight of responsibility for the growth we're seeing in depression and anxiety. It's complex, so complex. We're not going to be able to cover it all in a single episode of Grounded. But there are two things that seem to correlate more tightly than others. Two inventions. I wonder if you can guess what they are? They are: the smartphone and social media.

Good News: Digital Sabbath

Alejandra: That's right, Erin. Well, those between the ages of 10 and 25 seem to be at a higher risk for depressive symptoms and suicide-related outcomes if they spent a lot of time on their screens. One research found that teens who spend the most time on electronic devices—meaning seven plus hours a day—were twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression versus people who use them maybe one hour per day.

Erin: Yeah, and it’s easy to think my kid, my grandkid, my friend, they don't spend seven hours a day on their screens. But my kids are on their screens through their school. I think they all would be amazed tseven hours is more common than we think. And what all Alejandra just said is that those people in that range young children to young adults who spend that amount of time on their phones, double the risk of suicide, not a slight uptick, double the risk of suicide.

So, there's an increasing body of evidence that suggests that the time we're spending on our smartphones is interfering with all kinds of things. It's interfering with our sleep, with our relationships, with our memory, with our attention spans, with our creativity, with our productivity, with our ability to make decisions and here's how that happens. Being on our phone chronically raises our cortisol levels, cortisol being that stress hormone that we all hear so much about. And so, our phones really are threatening our mental health, and ultimately, they could be shortening our lives.

Spikes in that stress hormone cortisol also causes spikes in blood pressure, our heart rate goes up and it changes our blood sugar, even enabling us to react to perceived threat. So essentially what's happening to those who are spending that many hours a day on their phone and maybe less so unlimited smaller doses, is that our phones are keeping us in a constant state of fight or flight.

Alejandra: You know what I will say, grab your phone and grab a calendar. We can certainly do one thing. We can make a difference, and it's called taking a digital Sabbath. Many researchers are suggesting that you can reset your brain with the neurochemical spikes by taking one day a week off your screens. And are you ready for the good news?

Erin: Oh, yeah, ready for some good news. It's heavy so far. Let's hear some good news.

Alejandra: Here are some things that researchers have been observing when people take a weekly Sabbath. Number one, you will gain perspective on whether your screen use is healthy or addictive. As you measure your response. That’s a good one. 

Erin: Yeah. Number two, you're going to feel less stressed about time and responsibilities. When your phone is not reminding you moment by moment that an email came in or that deadline is in your workflow processing app or that your calendar is dinging, you're going to feel less stressed as you're not getting all those notifications.

Alejandra: Number three, you're going to have an appetite for the things you are normally missing while you're on your phone, like exercising or walks in the park or maybe reading that book that you put away.

Erin: Man, I find that to be true when my phone isn't in reach. I'm like, have these trees always been this beautiful? Have these birds always been singing this beautifully? I wasn't paying attention. 

And number four, if we will just take a weekly break from our phone, you're going to observe an increase in connection with your relationships. Because believe it or not, these are not actually helping our relationships be meaningful and have depth when we're sitting across the table from each other and we all have our phone. 

So, I want to add a fifth potential benefit to the possibility of a weekly digital Sabbath. And that's, you're going to be better able to observe a biblical Sabbath. Obviously, this idea of taking a break from our responsibilities is not just for the digital age. It's God's idea. So, you're going to remind yourself that you didn't create the world. It's going to keep on spinning without you, Alejandra. I knew we were going to talk about this because we prepare episodes in advance. So, I did this, this weekend. It really did make a difference.

Alejandra: It helped. Well, I'm sure we're not powerless. We can make a difference doing something as simple as taking a digital Sabbath, like turning off our phones at least one day a week so we can really make a difference. And guess what? That's the good, good, good news for today. 

Erin: That is good news and something we can implement with our families if we're feeling worried about this for our kids. Well, it's time to get Grounded with God's people. Julie Lowe is with us. She's a gifted and experienced counselor. And this is a topic that we've wanted to address here on Grounded for many months. We saw the need, and I really believe the Lord brought us Julie. So, I'm so grateful to have her expertise to help us consider this tough topic. Welcome to grounded, Julie.

Understanding Suicide, with Julie Lowe

Julie Lowe: Thank you so much for having me.

Erin: Well, Julie, we usually pray at the end of an episode or the end of an interview. But I thought for this tough topic, I'd love it if you just pray before we talk. In a lot of my research, I found it's not that suicide is contagious, but sometimes the suicides lead to other suicides. And that is something that I just want protection from. So, before we jump into the topic, would you mind just praying for those who will watch and listen?

Julie: Sure, be happy to, let's pray. Gracious Father, You know the hearts of those listening and those who need hope and encouragement. So, Lord, would You go the places inside people's hearts and minds that only You can reach and which You comfort them with Your presence? Grant wisdom and discernment and encouragement and hope. We pray this in Your holy name. Amen.

Erin: Amen. Thanks, Julie. I want to start with some cold, hard facts. And they do feel cold and hard. Every 15 minutes here in the United States, someone takes their own life. That's 35,000 suicides every year. And, Julie, I've heard there's a correlation between suicides and the pandemic, that we've seen a growth. Have you seen that to be the case in your practice?

Julie: Well, you certainly hear the stories. You certainly know that people feel more discouraged, more anxious, more hopeless. And what you also find is, it's not necessarily new issues. It's the issues that were already there, but now there's a pressure cooker effect. People can feel more discouraged and hopeless by it.

Erin: Yeah. I think we've all been exposed to a suicide one way or another. Something I often hear is I had no idea they were struggling, or I had no idea they were struggling to that point, or I didn't know they were so sad. How can we know if someone we love is considering suicide?

Julie: Well, it's paying attention to what's different. I mean, there's lots of ways where we think we know people would act obviously depressed. They would vocalize it, then we make statements about it, those would be the obvious things. But when we're really paying attention to people, we are looking for things that are outside the norm: them giving away their possessions, withdrawing from normal hobbies and activities they would be in, and just finding things that are out of character for them that are outside the norm.

Erin: And what is our first response if those things ring a bell for us? We've got somebody in our life, maybe the Holy Spirit has alerted us, there's cause for concern, we know the warning signs. But I think we often don't know what to do. What's a good first response?

Julie: Noticing, noticing out loud, going to the person and expressing caring concern for them. I mean, that's where people lose hope. They don't feel like anybody cares. They feel alone and isolated. So simply noticing, sometimes bringing it to the forefront in the relationship, and then bringing others in to be beneficial and to speak into it.

Erin: Yeah, good. You know, for all hard areas of parenting . . . I've got four boys, you've got six kids, but my approach is always the best defense is a strong offense. In other words, I'm always trying to talk with my boys up front, have a plan, not wait until whatever the issue is confronts us in a way that we weren't ready for. But this is suicide, and my oldest is 13. My youngest is 3. Should we be talking to our kids about suicide? And if so, can you give us some language?

Julie: One of the ways I think with my kids is, I'm often asking them, “What are kids talking about at your age? Are your peers at school talking about suicide or depression or anxiety or hopelessness?” I put that out there and see what they're already hearing from other people. Because where they might be afraid to speak about what's going on in their heart, will often reveal what's going on in their friends lives and hearts. It gives us insight into what they're being exposed to and experiencing themselves. It's this natural bridge building. What do you think about that? How do you feel? How does it affect you? As you hear those things, do you ever have those thoughts and concerns? 

Erin: As a Christian parent, is there anything you speak to from your faith about? I mean, what I say to my boys is that Jesus came to give us life, and life abundant. It's the enemy who came to cause death and destruction. Is there any language from Scripture or just from your faith that you use with your kids?

Julie: It is issues of identity. Where we find value in meaning in our lives. We were just having that conversation with our kids this weekend—the language of not being conformed to the world but being transformed in relationship to Christ. In what ways are we being transformed, are we being conformed? And so, using language to help them understand that we're tempted to find value and meaning in the things this world has to offer. We're tempted to pursue our own worth. And what culture in the world says gives us worth and value. Understanding the lies that that offers us and where truth really is, is freedom.

Erin: Yeah. I did a fair amount of reading on this topic. And what I found was that suicides among young people tend to cluster. I read several articles about there would be one suicide at a school and then there will be multiple. A woman wrote to me today and said that there have been multiple at her daughter's university. You have any insight into why that is? And how we can equip our kids if and when they're impacted by it? I was a seventh grader when a boy named Joey committed suicide in my own school. I remember being told in our classroom that that had happened. I remember many of us being so sad, even though we didn't know Joey very well. But when it happens in our kids’ school or kids’ friend group or youth group, can you give us some language for how to talk to him about it?

Julie: There's many things that stand out to me. One is sometimes it's actually the attention that people get after a suicide—they're gone, people grieve them and miss them. And there's something about me hearing that that goes, “Oh, is that how people might speak about me? Is that how people will feel about me? Will I be missed and loved? Will I be memorialized?”

So even the danger of seeing how people grieve after that, and why kids would see this glorified. This is how I'll be remembered if I commit suicide. And if they're already struggling with it, then it shows them that somebody else took the steps, somebody else did this act. So that's why you tend to see the clustering effect. 

But it's also why relationships are so important with our young people, the need for godly valuable relationships. It goes right back to what the two of you started talking about . . . social media. Our kids are hearing voices in their life speak to them about where their value and identity lies. We need to speak louder. We need to give them language and words and hope in the gospel. And that needs to look much more beautiful than anything this world has to offer them. 

But if they spend the majority of their time on social media, that's giving them messages about where morality and value and meaning and beauty and sexuality come from. They're listening to that all day long. That's gonna become their standard that will either cause them to go down more godless paths, or to be hopeless and despairing, because they feel like they can never attain it. What they need is loving godly relationships, helping them redefine where value is.

Erin: That's so true. I shared that story about being in the ER this weekend, and I got home. Of course, I didn't tell my kids, but I said to my husband, there was a dad there, his son had attempted to take his own life. And my husband went to every one of our sons, looked him in the eye and said, “I love you. You're my boy. And gave him a big hug.” And I thought, Why didn't I think to do that? The boys didn't have to know what caused that. But that was such a sweet way to not suicide proof our boys but to just speak into their lives about the fact that their loved. 

As I was preparing for this episode, I thought, there's really two issues here. I don't want to miss this other one. There are those of us who are parents or grandparents or no kids, and we want to speak into this growing trend. But there's also probably a woman watching or listening who is herself suicidal. She's not detached from this issue, but she has pervasive thoughts about taking her own life. What is it that you would say if she was sitting with you in your counseling room, and she fessed up that she didn't want to live anymore? What is it that you'd say to her this morning?

Julie: I would tell her why her life has so much value and meaning and that I care, and that she is cared for and she is loved and she is valued. Infusing all kinds of truth, what the gospel talks about all over Scripture, why your life has meaning, why it has value, why the Lord says you are the apple of His eye and that you are precious in His sight. Speaking words that are true, that are redefining, but also that we're emulating that we're a conduit of God's character and hope in people's lives.

Erin: Yeah, I was having lunch with a friend this week who is a counselor. She was telling me that we're wired to want to live. And so, when those thoughts are pervasive, we really do need help that something is off. We need the church, and in many times a counselor to come around us and to help us think clearly about our lives. 

As you were talking, the verse that came to mind I mentioned it earlier is that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. It's Jesus talking. He said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly,” and just convinced that Satan would kill us all if he could. When we snuff out the lives that Jesus came to give us, are there places in Scripture that you turn to frequently when you're dealing with either a client or a friend or one of your kids’ friends, when you're dealing with the issue of suicide? Where are those places you go to in your Bible?

Julie: There are many wonderful passages about how God views us and how He sees us personally. But probably my favorite is in Lamentations 3 which was a book of lament after horrible things happened. In the middle of Chapter 3 around verse 22, he says, “But this I called in mind therefore I have hope, because of the Lord's great love. We are not consumed. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.” And you just see this horrific destruction of the city of God turning and hope given because of God's character, who He is because of His great love. His mercies are new every morning. He gives us what we need to face what's before us. And that's just life giving to have those words spoken to us and be reminded of.

Erin: Yeah, this might be an oversimplification, but isn't the suicidal person someone who's lost hope, doesn't feel like there is hope anywhere to be found. And that verse says, “I call this to mind.” So, I do have hope. You know, one thing we need to be doing in the church is praying. Suicide is not just outside the walls of the church. It is inside the walls of the church, and it affects those of us inside the walls of the church. But it can be really overwhelming. What are some ways that you pray when it comes to this issue of suicide—specifically, teens and suicide?

Julie: I pray that I'll be both a parent and a person of hope and encouragement. Our kids are young people and our friends and our peers, they need relationships. They need people who are life giving and point them to the Life Giver. So, there's nothing that makes a bigger difference than you and I being willing to be people of hope and people who are encouraging and gracious and speaking life into people's life.

Erin: Yeah. I love that. Being people of hope. Well, Julie, you've written a booklet called Teens and Suicide: Recognizing the Signs and Sharing Hope, which is perfect. That's our mission here on Grounded, to give hope even for the tough stuff, maybe especially for the tough stuff. So, we're going to drop a link. Any final words for those listening on the topic of suicide?

Julie: If you are struggling with this or have somebody struggling, reach out for help. Reach out to people and let people in. Do not be afraid of bringing godly people in to be a source of hope for you.

Erin: Thank you so much for being with us, Julie.

Julie: Thank you,

Erin: Alejandra. Let's get grounded in God's Word.

Grounded in the Word: Hebrews 13:5–6

Alejandra: Let's do it. As we were learning about this topic, in preparing for it, I was thinking what does God Word say regarding our lives? Some questions came to mind because I've wrestled with them. Have you ever asked yourself, What is the purpose in my life? Or, why is this happening to me? Have you ever felt that the circumstances in your life are so difficult, that there is no way out? What do you do when you come face to face with your biggest fear? What do you do when everything that you have worked for seems to be falling apart? Have you ever felt that you can't go one more day? Have you ever felt alone? 

I think if we're all honest, we can raise our hands or at least say, “Yes, I have felt that way. I have had those thoughts.” And we're not the only ones. There are lots of people in the Bible that have had those thoughts, too. It seems like anxiety and depression and fear are a constant battle. But guess what? There is a treatment for every single sorrow, and every single fear ready for us here in Scripture. 

So, if you could please open your Bible or at least listen wherever you are. We're going to read in Hebrews chapter 13, verses 5 and 6. And this is what the Lord says. 

For he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

In the previous verses, the author of Hebrews is challenging us to lead our emotions and our desires toward things that can't perish. He's saying, don't spend your life trying to fill the void with material things. Don't waste your life trying to find peace in the what if. He's telling us, be content. 

I was wondering why. I think it is because losing contentment is a sign that shows that we have forgotten what God has said. He's telling us to remember. He has said, and here the author goes back to an Old Testament promise. He brings it back and says the same thing that God promised to Jacob to Joshua to the Israelites to Solomon. It is here for you because of Christ, that promise is ours because of Christ. 

This verse hits hard the two lies that the enemy keeps bringing into our minds when we're feeling this way, which is loneliness and fear. The Lord said, “I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. You need me, and I am here.” No matter what your circumstances are, He will never withdraw His presence nor His help from us. You will never be alone; I will protect you. He's holding our hands so tightly that nothing will come between us. 

Jesus is present, right here right now where you are. He’s not waiting for you to get cleaned up and fix your situation. He’s not there saying, “Get out of your depression and your anxiety and then I'll come.” No, He's present right now. He is determined not to leave us while we are battling with these feelings. And because the Lord has said, “I am not going anywhere,” there is forgiveness for our past; there is wisdom for our present; there is hope for our future. 

He has compassion for us. He's able to restore our broken hearts. Because the Lord has said, “I'm not going anywhere,” we have the authority in Christ to resist the enemy. Because the Lord has said, “I'm not going anywhere,” He enabled and empower us to be led by the Spirit and walk by the Spirit. Because the Lord has said, “I'm not going anywhere,” He has placed us into the family of God, and we have a community around us. Jesus intercedes for us. 

Because the Lord has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” we can say what the apostle Paul said in Romans chapter 8, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed with us. For I am sure that neither dead nor alive nor angels, nor rulers nor things present nor things to come, no powers, no height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creative creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of Christ. In Jesus, our Lord.” 

He has said, “I won't let go of you. I won't leave you helpless.” And then we can respond to Hebrews 13:6. We can confidently say,“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” 

There are three things I see here in Scripture that the Lord is guiding us to. Number one, He's guiding us to hear His Word. When our minds are confused, the last sense we lose is hearing. So, if you can't read Scripture, play it.

Number two, he's asking us to believe, to place our faith in Him. 

And number three, he's asking us to declare the Word. Read it out loud, memorize Scripture. I need to hear what God has said. I need to believe what God has said. And I need to declare what God has said. Maybe let's memorize this verse together. “For He has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. The Lord is my helper. I will not fear what can men do to me” today, this week, whenever we need it. Let's wash our minds with that truth.

Erin: Amen. Amen. You know, that idea that I am utterly alone in the world is not true. The Lord will never leave us He will never forsake us. And that truth can get us through those moments when we think it doesn't matter if I live or if I die. 

We knew when we talked about this, that you all would have stories to share with us. And you have. I want to share just a couple of reader comments. Claudia said, as a personal experience, “One reason for suicide could be emotional abuse at home, despair and sadness about that situation that you think will never change. Alejandra, what you just shared speaks right into that. The Lord is with us. He will never abandon us even when we are facing a horrible situation at home.” 

And then, I want to speak to you, Danielle. Thanks for sharing your story. Danielle just got back from her friend's memorial service. Jesse took his own life on September the 30. And Danielle said, “He had more to live for than I do. He left behind a wife and two daughters.” That is the wake of suicide. But we hope that you've heard some hope. 

The Good Stuff

Also, this morning, we always want to send you on your way with some resources. And today we've got a couple of blog posts from our Revive Our Hearts blog to recommend to you. The first one is for those who might be considering suicide. That might be you. It might be somebody you know. All the research seems to indicate that teenagers and the elderly are the most at-risk populations. But they're not the only ones at risk. So, we recommend this blog post to you is titled “Suicide Is Not the Solution.”It's written by a woman named Kim Jaggers. Kim lost her own husband to suicide. So, she does speak about this issue from a place of experience. 

Alejandra: The other blog post is from Heidi Jo Fulk, “Hope in the Wake of Suicide,” for those who have been impacted by suicide. It might be even some people that you don't know or that you know, or that you’ve seen in the news. But when suicide click hits close to home, it's hard to escape. Yeah, to stay focused.

Erin: Yeah, we keep attaching those two words: hope and suicide. It's only in Jesus. There's no other way for those two words to be said in the same sentence. 

Alejandra: Amen.

Erin: But this blog post is going to point you to God's Word, the source of hope. There is hope. Alejandra, you mentioned pastors. There have been several pastors that I do not know or have ever been to their churches. But I've heard about their suicides, and it has impacted me deeply. It's hard as the shepherds of the flock. Alright, this decision, and so there is hope. And we want to point you to hope. 

Alejandra: Amen. Yeah, amen.

Erin: Mind if I share some bonus good news this morning, Alejandra? 

Alejandra: Please go for it. We always can hear some more.

Erin: cWhether you are in the group of concerned parents, or if you are in the group of someone or you yourself are considering suicide, there is something you can do this week that can make a major difference.

Alejandra: You mean like turning our phones off? 

Erin: Let's start there. Well, you did have a parent tell us that the influence of Snapchat on her daughter's life is huge. So please hear that call to observe a digital Sabbath this week. But I'm going to say in addition to a digital Sabbath, there's something you can do, and it really does matter. And here it is, go to church. Several well researched medical studies (this is not just churches tooting their own horns) have found that regularly attending church reduces your risk of suicide by . . . get this . . . 84% Exclamation point exclamation point, exclamation point, 84%!

Alejandra: Run, run to your church. Run, go gather around God's people, because we need each other. Erin, we need each other. And because we need each other, that's why we hope you will join us back here next Monday on Grounded. Let's wake up with hope together next week on Grounded. 

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About the Hosts

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra is a sinner who believed in Jesus at the age of seven in her native country, Dominican Republic. She is a wife and homeschool mom. She's passionate about Christ, studying the Scriptures, discipling, teaching, and learning alongside women. Currently, she supports her husband as he serves as a church planter in Victoria, BC, Canada. Alejandra loves herbs, designing headbands with her daughter, being outdoors, and serving her community.

About the Guest

Julie Lowe

Julie Lowe

Julie Lowe is a faculty member at CCEF and a licensed professional counselor with nearly twenty years of counseling experience. Julie is also a registered play therapist and author of Child Proof and Building Bridges, as well as the minibooks Helping Your Anxious Child and Teens and Suicide. Julie and her husband, Greg, have six children and serve as foster and adoptive parents.