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Clergy Engagement in Suicide Intervention and Aftercare

     One of the most challenging clergy care situations is suicide.  Please consider participating in a study on Clergy Engagement with Suicide Intervention and Aftercare, and, in appreciation, get a gift card. You don’t need to have engaged the issue of suicide to participate.

     Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and 25% of people with mental health problems seek help from clergy; suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts are some of the significant predictors of making contact with clergy. This study seeks to add to the understanding of the role of clergy in suicide prevention, their role in ministering to suicidal people and to faith communities following suicide. The results could help make a difference in better equipping clergy to respond to suicide. Results will be used to develop resources for clergy including an online training (webinar) for clergy on May 17, 2012.

     The best way to complete the survey is online. Click on the link:
     https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/D69MVRK
     For a Spanish version survey, click on this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CRCSYHM

     You should be able to complete the survey in 30 minutes. In appreciation for your participation, you will receive a $10 Amazon gift certificate, a list of suicide prevention internet-based resources, and study results if requested.

     Please contact Karen Mason, Ph.D. (kmason@gordonconwell.edu) or Day Marshall
     (dmarshall1@gordonconwell.edu) with any questions or problems.

Study Description

     This study will gather input from U.S. full time or part time Catholic, Jewish and Protestant clergy about their engagement with suicide using a survey. Clergy will be asked demographic questions, questions about how many suicidal people request clergy help annually, clergy will be asked to respond to three vignettes, and will be asked about knowledge and opinions about suicide.

Invitation

     If you are currently working as clergy in the U.S. either full time or part time, please share your experience with us. We are conducting a study on clergy’s key role as pastoral caregivers within the context of suicide. Please consider completing a 30-minute survey whether you have experienced any aspect of suicide in your congregation or not. All your responses will be anonymous and results will be reported in summary form only. In appreciation for your input, we will send you a $10 Amazon gift certificate and a list of suicide-related internet-based resources for clergy. Enter this link (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/D69MVRK) in your browser to complete the survey or contact Day Marshall for a paper copy or a Spanish version. If you have any questions about this study, please contact Karen Mason at kmason@gordonconwell.edu or Day Marshall at (503) 569-4033 or dmarshall1@gordonconwell.edu or Box 380-B, 130 Essex St., South Hamilton, MA. Thank you.

Why participate?

•   Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. It affects Americans of all ages. Among adolescents, suicide is the third leading cause of death; among young adults, the second leading cause of death. The largest numbers of suicide deaths occur among middle-aged males; the highest rates, among older adult males. The highest rates and numbers of attempts occur among women.
•   25% of people with mental health problems seek help from clergy. Suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts are some of the significant predictors of making contact with clergy. In fact, in one national study, suicidal people who sought treatment were as likely to contact clergy as other providers.
•   Based on survey results, we will develop clergy resources, including a web-based training for you and other members of the clergy in Spring 2012 to help you in your work with suicide.
•   You will be sent a $10 Amazon gift certificate and a list of suicide-related internet-based resources for clergy in appreciation of your participation.

Who are the researchers?

•   Karen Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
•   James D. Wines, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center
•   Day Marshall, Research Manager
•   Richard Kuo, Graduate Research Assistant
•   The Association of Theological Schools is funding this study.

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