Mormon church Donates $25K for Suicide Prevention Training
Mormon church Donates $25K for Suicide Prevention. The gift will be used to train Affirmation staff to become certified suicide prevention trainers. “We can’t do this alone,” Tueller added. “Only by working together can we begin to reach everybody who needs to be reached both in and out of the church.”
“Over the past decade, we have really spent a lot of time building a productive relationship with the LDS Church to create a safe space for LGBTQ people,” Affirmation President Carson Tueller told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Affirmation, a support group for gay Mormons, was born in 1977, at a time when the admission of same-sex attraction among the Mormon faith was a matter of inner turmoil, deep shame and religious rejection — even a cause for suicide. The group has seen a “massive sea change,” Gustav-Wrathall says, in the relationship between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its gay members.
Before long, chapters emerged in Salt Lake City, Denver, Los Angeles and ultimately across the country. Affirmation began as a simple effort by activists at Brigham Young University: Assure gay Mormons they were loved and not alone, while striving to stop them from killing themselves. President Sara Jade Woodhouse says in a news release. “Affirmation meets both those needs through a vibrant community where individuals can connect, compare notes, and find support in whichever path of reconciliation and healing they choose.”
Once it was “almost unheard of for an LGBT person to come out over the pulpit,” he says. “Now that happens with some frequency.” “One of the most urgent needs for LGBTQ Mormons is making sense of contradictions between their religious upbringing or their faith as Mormons and their lived experience as LGBTQ individuals,”
“You were either ex-gay and Mormon or ex-Mormon and gay,” says Gustav-Wrathall. “There was no happy middle space.” Even when parents were accepting of their gay children, he says, “it was rare for them to become public advocates.” Gustav-Wrathall’s own devout LDS mum and dad struggled with how to balance parental love with church standards, which, at the time, said even being gay was a sin.