"In Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains, and Pastoral Counselors, Dr. Karen Mason applies psychology and theology to this complex and heart-breaking issue. She incorporates a spiritual perspective into a bio-psychosocial model to understanding suicide—a perspective that has long been missing from discussions about prevention and intervention. Each chapter explores an important dimension of suicide and ends with discussion questions that challenge readers to apply what they've read. Because many struggling with suicidal thoughts seek help from clergy, this practical and comprehensive handbook is an essential resource for pastors, chaplains, and pastoral counselors ministering everywhere."
—Pamela Caudill Ovwigho, executive director, Center for Bible Engagement
"Karen Mason's Preventing Suicide is a valuable, well-documented resource for pastors, chaplains and pastoral counselors. Mason's work in the Colorado state government dealing with these issues, and for several years on the faculty of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, has provided her with extensive in-the-trenches experience and academic expertise, which manifest themselves throughout the book. Perhaps her most important point is one she emphasizes frequently—the need to be open about the fact of suicide, both among family and among friends, but more particularly among the clergy and those who serve with them. Mason's book is must reading for those involved in dealing with suicide, its prevention, its completion or its aftermath."
—G. Lloyd Carr, professor emeritus of biblical and theological studies, Gordon College
"Most pastors and almost every chaplain will encounter suicide at some point in their ministry. The complexities involved in seeking to prevent, intervene and follow up can seem overwhelming, but Karen Mason's clear, but not simplistic, exploration offers a helpful guide. She raises questions often asked and provides suggestions of what to say—and what not to say—to provide faithful pastoral care, helping to reflect Christ's light even in this darkest of situations."
—David A. Currie, associate professor of pastoral theology and director of the doctor of ministry program, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
"Filling a huge gap in pastoral care, Dr. Mason has provided a remarkable manual and guide for understanding the causes of suicide and how to care for the family and friends who have been shattered in its wake. Mason's work is both practical, as in her dispelling of common myths about suicide, as well as theological, providing a much needed integration between theology and clinical theory. This is the manual the church has been waiting for! I heartily recommend it!"
—Timothy C. Tennent, president, Asbury Theological Seminary
"Dr. Karen Mason's new book, Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors, provides us with an invaluable resource to deal with one of the most difficult challenges anyone can face. If you live in the same complicated and painful world I do, you need all the help you can get. Dr. Mason's wisdom, experience and insight helps avoid the delusion that Christians don't have the same problems as other humans, while at the same time offering practical hope for addressing this most painful reality."
—Frank A. James, president, Biblical Theological Seminary
"This book probes the stigma-filled tragedy of suicide and closes a yawning gap in the literature of practical pastoral care. Every church has members who live with mental illness, and every church may at some point have members at risk of suicide. No pastor can afford to wait until a mental health care crisis arises or suicide strikes the parish to learn what this book can teach. This is a must-read for all Christian clergy, regardless of denomination."
—Kathryn Greene-McCreight, author of Darkness Is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness
"Preventing Suicide is a comprehensive resource for clergy across denominational lines and in various settings. Dr. Mason has done her homework, and her book integrates diverse theological understandings and biblical perspectives with practical pastoral advice and solid psychological research. Preventing Suicide can equip faith leaders to provide informed pastoral care for persons in distress, their loved ones and their faith communities. The book can also help clergy care for themselves in this crucial and challenging ministry. As a pastor who has served local congregations for over thirty years, I recommend it highly."
—Talitha Arnold, senior minister, coleader of the Faith Communities Task Force with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention