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California Pastor and Mental Health Advocate Jarrid Wilson Dies by Suicide

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California megachurch pastor and mental health advocate Jarrid Wilson died by suicide on Monday night, according to a statement released by Harvest Christian Fellowship Church. He was 30 years old.

“It is with the deepest sadness and shock that I have to report that Jarrid Wilson went to be with the Lord last night,” senior pastor Greg Laurie wrote. “At a time like this, there are just no words. The Bible says, ‘There is a time to mourn.’ This is certainly that time.”

Laurie went on to share how important Wilson was to the congregation:

Jarrid loved the Lord and had a servant’s heart. He was vibrant, positive, and was always serving and helping others. Jarrid also repeatedly dealt with depression and was very open about his ongoing struggles. He wanted to especially help those who were dealing with suicidal thoughts.

Wilson cofounded the Christian mental health nonprofit called Anthem of Hope, an organization dedicated to supporting those facing depression, anxiety, self-harm, addiction and suicide.

Wilson is not the only pastor to have struggled with suicidal thoughts. In January, megachurch pastor Jim Howard ended his life. It’s common for people to believe pastors or other authority figures “don’t struggle” or “have it all together,” but it’s important to remember pastors are real people with real struggles too.

Since news broke, Wilson’s fans and loved ones have expressed their condolences and offered prayers and support for his family on social media.

It doesn’t matter who you are — anyone can struggle with their mental health. If you are a pastor or Christian struggling with suicidal thoughts, you’re not alone, and your struggles don’t make you less of a Christian. If you are struggling, please reach out to a trusted loved one, and check out our list of suicide prevention resources. Recovery is possible, and help is available.

If this news is hard for you, especially on World Suicide Prevention Day, know you are not alone. If you need support or want to connect with people who have been there, post a Thought or Question on The Mighty with the hashtag, #CheckInWithMe. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Header image via Twitter

Originally published: September 10, 2019
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