Lay My Burdens Down

A suicide prevention resource for

faith-based communities.

Faith Leaders Partnering with the Mental Health Profession

What does the Lay My Burden Down initiative offer clergy, lay church leaders, and persons of faith?


  • In-service training at churches, synagogues, mosques, and other settings to learn how to recognize suicide warning signs, what to do with someone about whom one is worried, etc., including QPR training (Question, Persuade, Refer training modeled after CPR health initiative)


  • A comprehensive Resource Directory of suicide prevention and intervention assists


  • A narrative history of suicide over several centuries, including religious influences


  • A narrative review of religious leaders' current theological views on suicide resultant from a National Interfaith Dialogue facilitated by the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) in Washington, D.C.


  • Membership or representation on a suicide prevention advisory council


  • Continuing education conference in 2015 for clergy, lay leaders and persons of faith


  • Consultation with available ASPARC grant and board team members in the event of a critical incident


  • Consultation about programmatic ideas related to prevention, intervention resources, and postvention (bereavement and post-suicide/loss response)

Deepen the connection between faith as a protective factor alongside modern suicide precention techniques.

To inquire about


Lay My Burdens Down 


faith-based initiative, please contact 

Dr. Judith Harrington




sign-up for training here:

In conjunction with training, ASPARC can provide you with:


  • One or two books, compliments of the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant


Townsend, L.L. (2006). Suicide Pastoral Responses. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.


Poussaint, A. & Alexander, A. (2000). Lay my burden down: Unraveling suicide and the mental health crisis among African-Americans. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.


  • Meet with you to design a customized faith-based workshop, seminar, class, training event to be provided to your church leaders, pastoral care team members, Stephens Ministry caregivers, bereavement groups, church education and programming committee, and more.


  • Provide church or synagogue-based postvention consultation and/or education


  • Facilitate QPR Gatekeeper training as a "next step" or postventive response following a suicide


  • Supply website, book, and materials suggestions from the Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Resource Directory.

© 2018 by Alabama Suicide Prevention and Resources Coalition, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization

If you need help or are having thoughts of suicide, please get help immediately by contacting:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1.800.273.8255