Affirmation: LGBT Mormons, Families and Friends, founded in 1977, works for the understanding, acceptance, and self-determination of individuals with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions as full, equal, and worthy persons within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and society, and to help them realize and affirm self-worth.
This year the Affirmation board determined the top priority is to better equip its members and leaders with information about trauma as well as suicide prevention.
For the first time, Affirmation leaders representing diverse spiritual perspectives, sexual orientations, gender identities, and cultural backgrounds — including native Spanish and Portuguese speakers — will be trained to become certified suicide prevention trainers by one of the leading suicide prevention training institutes, QPR. Over the next three years, suicide prevention trainers will conduct training sessions at every Affirmation conference held throughout the world. Affirmation will also make online training on trauma and suicide prevention available at no cost to Affirmation members and others.
Recognizing the need for increased collaboration between the LGBTQ+ Mormon community and the broader LDS community to more effectively prevent suicide, in February 2018 Affirmation leaders met with the LDS Public Affairs Department to request funding of QPR training. At the end of April, the LDS Foundation awarded Affirmation a grant for $25,000, the full amount requested by Affirmation, specifically to support these suicide prevention efforts.
“We hope that this LDS Foundation grant to Affirmation will aid in suicide prevention amongst LGBTQ+ Mormons throughout the world and also be an encouragement to LDS members, bishops, young men’s and young women’s presidencies, and others working with Mormon youth to take advantage of these training opportunities with us,” said Carson Tueller, president of Affirmation. “We can’t do this alone. Only by working together can we begin to reach everybody who needs to be reached both in and out of the church.”
If you are interested in learning more about Affirmation’s trauma education and suicide prevention efforts and want to get involved, please email [email protected].
To donate to support Affirmation’s suicide prevention work, you can go to our donation portal at https://affirmation.org/donate/ and select “Suicide Prevention” under “Donation Options.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, call The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386 or visit their website where you can talk to someone via text or chat.
Photo | Affirmation at Utah Pride 2018