USA (MNN) — Earlier this summer, reports said teen suicide rates are the highest ever on record in the United States. Per the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in 2017, suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 34.
The reports found a sharp rise in suicides, especially among teenage boys. Based on data from 1999-2017, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that at any given age, the average American has a 33 percent likelihood of death by suicide. In 2017, the CDC determined suicide as the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.
The Los Angeles Times reports potential contributions to the rise in suicide rates include high rates of depression and anxiety. However, it appears officials are more willing to acknowledge suicide as a cause of death, too. The connection between high levels of social media use and suicide has also come into question.
Suicide and Spiritual Warfare
With statistics this high, where is the Church? And how can it respond to this crisis? For Set Free Ministries, their response deals with the spiritual warfare side of this issue.
“Set Free Ministries is best described as a spiritual ER unit,” Set Free Ministries’ Executive Director Dean Vander Mey says.
“If you’re struggling with things that are spiritual and emotional, then let us try to help you with those issues…God made a spiritual, emotional, physical being. There is a spiritual realm that exists. And as we speak, that is against us.”
Churches are often a place to learn more about the Christian faith and receive discipleship, but Vander Mey says the education pastors receive often fails to equip them to handle issues related to spiritual warfare. Set Free uses God’s Word to help take thoughts captive and set people free.
“What the team does is we embrace [and] bring truth. Jesus was full of grace, full of truth,” Vander Mey says.
Pray and Get in Contact
Pray for God’s intervention in the lives of those facing despair. Pray for Set Free’s work changing lives for the better. Also, pray for the suicide rates to decline in the U.S. and for those suffering from suicidal thoughts to find hope and help.
Think you or someone you know could benefit from sessions with Set Free? Then click here to set up an appointment.
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Curious about volunteering with Set Free? Connect with the ministry on volunteer opportunities at [email protected]
Header photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash.