Good Shepherd offers suicide awareness class

This September, the Reimagining Health Collaborative (RHC) team at Good Shepherd, Brevard, learned that our application for a grant from ELCA Disability Ministries had been partially funded. This funding enabled us to offer a suicide awareness training by Soul ShopTM for our community on October 24, along with refreshments. Thirty-five people attended the training, which focused on increasing people’s willingness to talk about suicide, gaining basic conversational skills to use when talking with someone they are concerned about, and connecting self and others to needed services. The training was presented by Fe Avis, a suicide prevention expert and creator of Soul ShopTM, an international movement that trains clergy, ministry leaders, and community members to incorporate care for those impacted by suicidal desperation as an integral component of their life together.

Kimberly Dunbar, Good Shepherd’s Outreach Ministry Coordinator and also an RHC team member, had attended a Soul ShopTM training for ministry leaders on suicide awareness and prevention in Greensboro this past May that was arranged by the NC Synod. After completing the training, she was able to purchase the Soul Shop for Congregations curriculum, which she and a co-leader plan to present at Good Shepherd in early 2020.

Suicide rates in Transylvania County are higher than those of the state and suicide prevention is one of the focus areas of our county public health department. RHC team members are currently working with Avis to try to bring a comprehensive suicide intervention training (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training – ASIST) to our area in 2020.

For more information, please contact Kimberly Dunbar, Outreach Ministry Coordinator of Good Shepherd, Brevard, at 828-883-3680.