Online Program

Clergy's knowledge of suicide and self-efficacy in suicide prevention

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Amy S. Hedman, PhD, MCHES, Department of Health Science, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN
Clergy are a recognized profession for suicide prevention. Purpose of study: measure clergy's knowledge of suicide and self-efficacy in inquiring about suicidal intent and making referrals. The “Clergy Perspectives and Practices on Depression and Suicide” survey was used to asses: What is clergy's knowledge of suicide; What is clergy's self-efficacy in inquiring about suicidal intent and knowing when to refer; and What role do clergy play in suicide prevention education. An online search identified 444 Catholic and 694 ELCA clergy in MN. Of the 444 Catholic clergy who received the survey, 86 responded; and 179 of 694 ELCA clergy responded; resulting in a total of 265. Mean number of suicides within the congregation in the past 12 months was .39 (SD 1.37), ranging 0 to 4; past five years: 1.37 suicides (SD 2.09). A mean of 1.65 (SD 3.68) individuals had expressed ideas of suicide and/or suicidal intent to clergy in the past 12 months. Forty percent reported high ability in inquiring about suicidal intent; fewer (14%) clergy indicated low ability in identifying if a suicide-related imminent danger existed. Over 90% stated moderate/high ability to know when to refer. Thirty-four percent reported no/low ability in providing suicide prevention education 33% reported no/low ability in building a church infrastructure and forum to support suicide prevention. Clergy are important community assets and have a role in suicide prevention; clergy could benefit from education and training on suicide prevention; the majority of clergy indicated they would participate in suicide prevention training, if offered.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
Describe clergy’s self-efficacy in inquiring about suicidal intent, as discussed in the current research study. Describe clergy’s self-efficacy in recognizing suicidal intent, as discussed in the current research study. Identify three strategies clergy can implement to support suicide prevention within their churches.

Keyword(s): Suicide, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author because I have been the principal author for several peer-reviewed published studies, including the topics of health communication, and grief and loss. My current research projects focus on clergy's role in suicide prevention. The abstract submitted for this conference represents a completed study in which I am currently working on a manuscript to submit for publication.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4049.0: Suicide prevention