Matthew S. Stanford, PhD
Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Biomedical Studies, Baylor University
We acknowledge the collaboration of American Association of Pastoral Counselors in developing this post.
Throughout history, suicide has frequently been misunderstood and religion has played a significant role in adding to its stigma. Sadly, due to misinformation that typically dates back to Biblical teachings, many Christians consider suicide to be an unforgivable sin. But demonizing suicide is outdated and ignores the real cause: mental illness.
It’s time for religious communities to play a pivotal role in addressing this nation’s mental health crisis and many are rising to the challenge. Congregation by congregation, attitudes are evolving.