Now Featured at the Patheos Book Club
A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors
By Karen Mason
What People Are Saying
"Do real Christians die by suicide? Yes. Only God knows how many. But most pastors, chaplains and pastoral counselors already know someone they could help choose living instead of dying . . . if only they knew how. If you're in that role, this book is for you. And if you're preparing for ministry this book is also for you, because there is little doubt that you are going to find yourself in this dark trysting place where death meets life more often than any of us would wish."
—David B. Biebel, coauthor of Finding Your Way After the Suicide of Someone You Love
"Mental illness exists inside and outside of the church community. Christians struggle with depression and even suicidal thoughts. It does not make you less of a Christian. Just like heart disease or cancer does not dilute our Christianity, neither does mental illness. Nevertheless, we must stand committed to 'creating space' and providing ministry to those who struggle with depression and other mental illnesses. In partnership with medical professionals, the church of Jesus Christ can bring attention to this silent illness with grace, compassion and love. Karen Mason's book provides such space. For at the end of day, suffering from mental illness is not a sin. Yet not addressing it may very well be."
—Samuel Rodriguez, president, Hispanic Evangelical Association
"Karen Mason has with this book made a monumental contribution to helping us better understand suicide and our ministry responsibilities to those impacted by it. I wish it was available when I, as a young pastor, had to deal pastorally with all the complicated realities of several heart-breaking suicides within six years in my small Florida congregation. This book is a must-read for anyone dealing with persons in deep depression that could be life threatening. She not only brings her profound expertise gained from a lifetime studying this topic but does it with great evangelical pastoral/theological sensitivity combined with exquisite practical application."
—John Huffman Jr., author, pastor, Christianity Today board chairman
"Unequivocally the best book on suicide prevention I've ever read. This reaches far beyond a typical textbook. It is extremely practical in addressing, with insight and compassion, what I've witnessed as a pastoral practitioner for thirty years. I wish I had this powerful resource my first year as a chaplain. Every Christian chaplain needs a copy."
—Alan T. "Blues" Baker, rear admiral and chaplain of the Marine Corps, retired
"Losing a loved one to suicide is one of the most devastating experiences a family or community can experience. But suicide is preventable, and pastors and caregivers can intervene to help those at risk. This book is a comprehensive, useful and hopeful resource, and readers will become better equipped to save lives because of it."
—Albert Y. Hsu, author, Grieving a Suicide
"I am reluctant to offer superlatives on almost anything, and I tend to be skeptical of those who do. Yet, having said that, without reservation I highly recommend Dr. Karen Mason's book, Preventing Suicide, as a 'must read' for every pastor, missionary, chaplain and pastoral counselor. Plus, I suggest adding to that 'must read' list every psychologist, social worker, school counselor, family member of a suicide victim and seminary student. All of these will benefit from this book's wisdom and practicality. I believe Dr. Mason's book will become one of the classics in its field. It is not a dry, boring read of cold academic studies, statistics and case histories. Instead, Preventing Suicide is upbeat, and loaded with real-life interviews and role playing. It is well-researched, theologically sound, biblically accurate and gives a balanced historical overview of how suicide and its victims were thought of and treated. Above all, it offers practical, hands-on advice for caregivers."
—Jim Stout, pastor, counselor and author of Bipolar Disorder: Rebuilding Your Life
"The book, written by an experienced expert in the field of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention, is thoughtful, even gentle, but grapples head-on with theological issues in offering practical and biblical insights into the world of those contemplating suicide, and provides a plethora of practical help for survivors, caregivers, and the church. It is an engagingly readable book that is high on my recommendation list for students and caregivers."
—Kenneth L. Swetland, senior professor of ministry, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary