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Soul Shop offers faith-based suicide prevention training in Marquette

Soul Shop faith-based suicide prevention workshop comes to Marquette in June.
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 10:37 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Soul Shop, a faith-based suicide prevention workshop, will be hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, Messiah Lutheran Church and the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention later this June.

While targeted to pastors and faith community leaders, Soul Shop™ trainings benefit counselors, lay ministry leaders first responders and essentially anyone interested in learning how to effectively minister to suicide. The workshop will be held on Friday, June 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Messiah Lutheran Church in Marquette.

“Given that 6% of adults and 17% of adolescents are thinking about suicide and 50% of any congregation is impacted by suicide in some form, this is an issue that the church cannot avoid. Communities of faith have both a theological obligation and a call by God to face this challenge head-on, equipping members to do the same,” said Michelle Snyder, Soul Shop Director.

Soul Shop™ equips leaders to minister to suicide impacts as a regular aspect of their ministries. The workshop includes addressing the primary obstacles to dealing with suicide such as stigma, fear, and shame; statistics/facts about suicide; and how ministries can create a supportive environment while shifting the culture around how people deal with this subject and one another.

This includes the creation of worship resources, training congregation members in suicide awareness and basic conversation skills, and how to extend the invitation to those who have been suicidal in the past to share their stories.

This workshop engages the question of how to cultivate a soul-safe culture within your congregation.

“It’s definitely about culture change. That’s the goal. The goal is to get comfortable with talking about things that lead us to desperation, and desperation can lead us to take our own lives. […] How do we build communities that are safe enough so that somebody who’s in desperation might be willing to talk about it? If we can talk about it we can do something about it. If we don’t talk about it we can’t do anything about it,” said Marna Franson, Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan Missioner.

Since its development in 2014, Soul Shop has trained thousands nationally and internationally in suicide awareness and has facilitated the development of suicide prevention plans with numerous community teams.

To register for the event or to learn more about the Soul Shop Movement, visit www.soulshopmovement.org/upcoming or call 906-458-6395.

Soul Shop is brought to us by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. AFSP is also sponsoring four other suicide prevention trainings in the UP this summer:

6/23 - Talk Saves Lives in Escanaba

6/24 - Soul Shop in Marquette

6/25 - Hope Grows Here in Marquette

6/27 - Talk Saves Lives in Sault Saint Marie

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