Faith Communities Task Force

Action Alliance Launched Faith.Hope.Life. Campaign

Faith Hope Life LogoFaith.Hope.Life. is an opportunity for every faith community in the United States, regardless of creed, to focus one Sabbath each year on the characteristics common to most faiths that also help prevent suicides. The Faith.Hope.Life. website contains all the information and resources necessary to launch Faith.Hope.Life. in your faith community. Please read the campaign overview here.

The Faith Communities Task Force congratulates the design team at UHS for creating the winning logo for Faith.Hope.Life. The logo shows an icon at the top of a hill that signifies each individual who overcomes their struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide as they reach toward the future with a new positive outlook. We received many excellent submissions, making the final decision a tough one. The Task Force thanks everyone who submitted creative work for the contest.

Task Force Webinars

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships co-hosted a repeat offering of the webinar, Role of Faith Leaders in Suicide Prevention, on Thursday, December 5. View the archived webinarslide presentation, and resource sheet here.

View the archived webinar on pastoral/rabbinic approaches to supporting those struggling with depression and suicide with Dr. Kalman Kaplan.

Task Force Goal

During the first 18 months, the Faith Communities Task Force will generate and/or distribute educational and training materials for use by faith communities in their efforts to prevent suicide and care for the survivors of completed suicides. Materials will be provided in such a way that religious leaders of the various communities will be able to modify them for their specific theological approach.

12- to 18-month Objectives 

  • Add members from variety of faith communities, including those employed in public service.
  • Familiarize task force members with current beliefs, understandings, and teachings about suicide in particular, and mental illness in general, across diverse faith traditions.
  • Familiarize task force members with available suicide prevention resources on a national, regional, or local community level, for leaders and congregations in various faith traditions.
  • Familiarize task force members with suicide prevention materials provided by seminaries, pastors’ schools, and theological schools across faith traditions.
  • Familiarize task force members across traditions and denominations with how to assess the status of groups at high risk for suicide (e.g., military veterans, LGBT persons), how such persons are regarded by different faith traditions, and how that impacts mental health and suicide prevention work in the denomination or tradition.
  • Disseminate to faith communities the suicide prevention education and training materials in use by the Department of Defense.
  • Develop and implement action steps to increase dissemination of materials and best suicide prevention practices in faith communities.
  • Talitha Arnold, MDiv — Co-Lead, Private Sector, Senior Minister, United Church of Santa Fe
  • David Litts, OD—Co-Lead, Private Sector, Consultant
  • Anne Mathews-Younes, EdD, DMin — Co-Lead, Public Sector, Director, Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress & Special Programs, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Farha Abbasi, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, and Faculty, Muslim Studies Program, Michigan State University
  • Miriam Ament, Founder and President, No Shame on U
  • Glen Bloomstrom, MDiv, MS, MA; Military Director, Living Works Education & Adjunct Professor, Bethlehem College and Seminary
  • Paul Cantz, PsyD, ABPP, Associate Professor; University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine; Adler University - Chicago
  • Christi Eaton, Executive Director, Speak2Save.org; Producer of Hope Bridge; Publisher of Crossing That Bridge 
  • Mahira Elder, LLMSW, Muslim Family Services
  • Jeff Elhart, President and Owner, Elhart Automotive Campus
  • Efrem L. Epstein, Founder, Elijah's Journey (A Jewish Response to the Issues of Suicide Awareness and Prevention)
  • Yosef Goldman, Rabbi, Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel
  • Ben Goldstein, Rabbi, Temple Beth El Mekor Chayim
  • Rabbi Ari Hart, Associate Rabbi, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
  • Gregory Hudnall, EdD, Executive Director, Hope4Utah, Bishop, LDS Church
  • Brandon Johnson, Public Health Advisor, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • Kalman Kaplan, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Illinois, College of Medicine, Chicago
  • Kimberly Konkel, MSW, Associate Director for Health, Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Karen Mason, PhD, LPC, Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
  • Sherry Molock, PhD, Senior Advisor for Outreach and Engagement, National Institute for Mental Health
  • Melinda Moore, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Eastern Kentucky University
  • LaVonne Ortega, MD, MPH; Senior Advisor, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
  • Pamela Ovwigho, PhD, Research Director, Center for Bible Engagement
  • Joshua Rivedal, Founder and Executive Director of The i'Mpossible Project, Author, International Public Speaker
  • Su Yeon Lee-Tauler, Research Specialist, Education Development Center, Inc.