Breaking the Silence: Love Motivates Ohio Church to Host Suicide Prevention Workshop
By Carl Stagner
A wide variety of ministries locally and globally trace their roots back to Arlington Church of God. For the Akron, Ohio, congregation, it’s a labor of love. The church, led today by Rev. Dr. Charles “Chuck” Myricks, sees their efforts as a natural overflow of what Jesus has done for them. Longing to see others through the lens of heaven, Arlington isn’t willing to overlook those society might otherwise prefer to ignore. Such is the case with anyone particularly prone to suicide. That’s why they’re breaking the silence and inviting the community to a suicide prevention workshop at the end of July.
Dr. Josephine Ridley, known on a national scale for her expertise on suicide prevention, is slated as keynote speaker for the event. She not only serves on the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation Advisory Committee, but she also is certified by the Zero Suicide Institute as a “master trainer.” Having already conducted numerous seminars of similar kind, Ridley is more than ready to raise awareness and offer practical insight and resources to the public.
Because the event is hosted by the church, the love of Christ and the relevance of his bride is reinforced to the community. Dr. Marilyn S. Mobley serves as an associate minister at Arlington Church of God, and leads the church’s wellness team. She insists that “the intersection of faith and mental health is one the church should be willing to address more often as yet another way to be engaged in kingdom work. We pray for a positive impact!”
According to the church’s press release, the rise in suicide is especially steep among Black Americans. Statistics reveal suicide rates among Black adolescent girls is up 6.6 percent over a sampled time period, and that Black males aged five to eleven are more likely to take their own lives than their white peers. The theme of the event, “We Don’t Talk About This: Suicide in the Black Community,” is a direct response to the disturbing trend. Dr. Mobley explains, “We believe breaking the silence around this topic is the best way to begin to address it.”
Though Mobley is not one of the presenters for the workshop, members of her team are mental health professionals with the qualifications to speak to the serious matters on the table. Breakout sessions during the workshop will also tackle matters related to suicide as they affect women, men, and children/adolescents, respectively. Sponsored in part by a grant from the county Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health board, the event is totally free and open to everyone. Dr. Mobley notes that anyone in the Church of God from the area, or passing through, is more than welcome to attend.
The workshop is scheduled for Saturday, July 30, 2022, from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM. Attendees can register at the Arlington Church of God website or call the church office 330-773-3321. Masks are required and a boxed lunch will be served.
Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.