Suicide From a Christian Perspective by Diamin Torres
“Hunter’s House of Hope” is a Christian-based organization that aims to prevent suicide.
It began in 2021 and was founded by the family and friends of Hunter Thomas Capobianco, who
took his life nearly three and a half years ago. I chose to work with this suicide prevention
organization because of the way that Hunter personally changed my life. I met Hunter when I
was fifteen and he was my best friend throughout high school. Unfortunately, during the middle
of my senior year, he took his own life. He actually passed away the day before my eighteenth
birthday. He was my favorite person, so much so that I have a tattoo dedicated to him. To know
him was to love him. I felt an immense amount of guilt for about 2 years before going to seek the
help that I needed to reassure me that it was not my fault.
Losing Hunter had left me completely devastated. I did not know how to go on with life
and live in a world without him. However, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I credit
Hunter as the sole reason why I became so interested in psychology and helping others. This
pushed me to become a psychology major in hopes of becoming a therapist or a counselor to
help those who feel hopeless; the way that I wish I would have been more knowledgeable and
aware to help him.
The founder of the organization is Theresea Capobianco. She was Hunter’s aunt. She
graduated with a Magna Cum Laude from Florida International University with a Bachelor of
Science in Criminal Justice degree. After her nephew’s death, she spent months researching the
causes of suicide and suicide prevention. Through her research, she learned about the rates of
suicide in Broward County, Florida, and how so many individuals are not receiving crucial
support. Theresa decided to do something about the lack of support in one location through a
“whole person” approach. In addition, she wanted a way to commemorate Hunter and let him
live on forever.
Suicide-prevention has become very important to me because I know so many people
who have no faith or lost hope and feel like there is no other way out. I know so many people
that do not believe their life could change or get better and they, unfortunately, do not have the
proper resources to show them otherwise. I want to be able to help them in any way that I
possibly can, even if it’s by giving clinically approved advice or just listening to people. It’s
something that I am extremely passionate about and I feel as though this was part of God’s plan,
and purpose for me.
The organization is located in Hunter’s hometown of Cooper City, Florida. Since I cannot
physically be there to give my service, I volunteer virtually by assisting in any projects they
have. Although it is mainly focused on providing the proper resources to help prevent suicide,
they also help people in other areas. They provide food and clothing to the homeless, provide
resources and local hotlines for people dealing with depression or anxiety, create videos and
music playlists to encourage people who feel down, and have their team members working with
those who need help getting a job- whether it is creating a resume or job hunting, they are always
happy to help.
Suicide is not talked about as often as it should be. The term itself “suicide” originated in
means “self” (sui) “to kill” (cide). Suicide is a complex public health issue. It requires
coordination and cooperation among health care providers, the community, family and friends,
and treatment services. Suicide is preventable. According to the CDC, suicide is the 10th leading
cause of death in the U.S. for all ages. Every day, 123 Americans die by a successful suicide.
There is one death by suicide in the U.S. every 12 minutes. According to “Suicide statistics and
Facts” (2018), each year, depression affects 25% of Americans over the age of 18. Only 50% of
all Americans receive treatment for major depression. Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in
the world each year (roughly equals to about one death every 40 seconds). According to “Facts
About Suicide” (2018), suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world for those aged
15-24 years. Suicide among males is 4 times higher than their female counterparts. Male deaths
represent 79% of all U.S. suicides. However, suicide is not exclusive and does not discriminate.
It touches people of all ages, racial, ethnic, economic classes, social, and religious groups.
Suicidal behavior is complex. This means that it is not a response to one specific problem that a
person is experiencing.
Suicide is a very sensitive but important topic. With the best resources possible, people
can be saved from the point of no return. Suicide affects not only the person who is capable of
taking their life but the people who loved that person. Each suicide is unique because numerous
factors contribute to it. Each individual effort to predict and prevent suicide can result in a
different outcome for the person who wants to commit suicide. In current times, our knowledge
of risk factors is increasing greatly.
The warning signs of suicide are indicators that a person may be in serious danger and
may need immediate help. These signs include: talking about wanting to die or killing oneself,
looking for a way to kill oneself, talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose, talking
about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain, feeling like a burden to others, increasing use
of alcohol or drugs, expressing feelings of anxiousness, agitation, or recklessness, sleeping too
little or too much, showing rage, and displaying extreme mood swings (Johan Bilsen, 2018).
People thinking about suicide may feel like suicide is their only way out. They may feel
disconnected from the world around them, and they often feel like nothing will change to
improve their situation (whatever it may be) in their life.
The best ways to help someone are by reaching out, listening to them, checking their
safety, taking action, and getting help. The transition from a suicidal idea to a completed suicide
often occurs, unexpectedly and impulsively (especially among adolescents). People who
committed suicide tend to have very poor problem-solving skills. According to Johan Bilsen
(2018), their behavior was characterized by a rather passive attitude, waiting for someone else to
solve the problem for them. This applied to all types of problems, whether they were easy or
When a person is suicidal, these are a few ideal choices that should be made according to
the specific situation. In Emergency situations, (if a person has attempted suicide or is injured or
knows someone who is injured) it is best to call 911 or a local emergency number. It’s important
to not leave the person alone. If the person is not injured but is still at immediate risk of harming
oneself, the same rule applies. There is also a suicide hotline number in the U.S. that can be
called (the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255). This allows callers to reach
a trained volunteer. In Non-Emergency Situations, (if someone has suicidal thoughts, but isn’t in
a crisis state) outpatient treatment is best recommended (Suicide and Suicidal Thoughts, 2018).
If a person has concerns for someone who they think is in danger of hurting themselves, it would
also be ideal to have an open and honest discussion. It is also suggested that the individual offers encouragement and support. The suicidal individual should seek a qualified doctor or mental health provider and make an appointment.
Treatment of suicidal thoughts and behavior depends on specific situations. These include
the level of suicide risk and what underlying problems may be causing suicidal thoughts or
behavior. According to “The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: We Can All Prevent Suicide”,
some other risk factors are mental disorders (particularly mood disorders, anxiety disorders,
schizophrenia, and certain personality disorders), impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies, history
of trauma or abuse, and low self-esteem. Yossi Levi-Belz (2019) says “given its being one of the
most severe human behaviors, a distinct focus would be to identify the underlying psychological
processes that may lead to suicidal ideation and behavior.” Jeffrey A. Bridge (2014) supports this
statement by adding “meaningful improvements in the management of psychiatric disorders in
primary care settings require systemic changes in primary care practice and access to a
comprehensive system of mental health services.”
This treatment may include: psychotherapy, medications, addiction treatments, family
support and education. Psychotherapy helps explore the issues that would make someone feel
suicidal and learn skills to help manage emotions more effectively. Therapists and clients can
collaborate together to develop a treatment plan and goals. Medications such as antipsychotic
medications, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and other medications for mental illness
can help reduce symptoms, which can help someone feel less suicidal. There are also addiction
treatments for drug or alcohol addiction. These include detoxification, addiction treatment
programs, and self-help group meetings. Family support and education is another way of
working towards treatment and recovery (Suicide and Suicidal Thoughts, 2018). Involving them
in treatment can help them understand what that suicidal person is going through. It can also be
beneficial when it comes to communication between the families and the other relationships that
the suicidal individual has.
From a Christian perspective, suicide is a sin against God as the creator and it rejects
God’s sovereignty. According to “Suicide from a Christian Perspective” (2014), the difference
between suicide and other sins is that successful suicide allows no time for repentance. The
church has viewed suicide to be the prime example of self-idolatry. All of biblical examples were
characters who were wiped out spiritually or went through periods of spiritual collapse (before
they took their life). Many of these biblical examples were in pain or afraid before committing
suicide. Suicide is not an unpardonable sin; however, suicide is sinful. According to M. Agency
(2014), suicide is also seen as poor guidance and control of one’s body. It demonstrates
misdirected love and is injurious to others and overlooks the value of human suffering as
Christian believers are called to suffer with Christ. Christianity acknowledges the emptiness and
brokenness of the world. At the same time, it offers reborness, hope, and abundant life as Jesus,
himself, shared in man’s pain and suffering. He provided redemption and restoration (M.
Scripture tells us that everyone is a fallen person. It happens to parents, children, and
everyone in between. It happens to both believers and unbelievers alike. According to “Faith and
Suicide Among Teens and Young Adults” (2020), from a biblical psychological and purely
human point of view, this fallen condition suggests that Christians will not be immune to suicidal
thoughts and tendencies. The article suggests praying and enlisting others to lift the suicidal
person up before God. If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, help the person seek help
immediately. There are plenty of Christian therapists who are willing to discuss clients’
According to Alicezac (2014), there are a few ways that churches can help. First, they can
start by knowing the truth; they must acknowledge misconceptions about suicide and faith. A
huge misconception is that depression is a sign of a lack of faith. The truth is that devoted
Christians are not immune to mental health challenges, and no measure of faith can provide a
guaranteed shield against depression. Alicezac (2014) provides an example stating that “Many
well-known Christian leaders, from Charles Spurgeon to Ann Voskamp, have dealt with
depression and thoughts of suicide”. Therefore, having any kind of mental illness does not mean
that a person has lost faith or is not following God.
The next thing the churches could do is proclaim the truth. Many churches remain silent
on mental illness. A survey conducted by “Lifeway and Focus on the Family” found that nearly
half of pastors rarely or never speak on the subject to their churches in sermons or large group
messages (Alicezac, 2014). If the subject of mental illness is not talked about, it is more likely to
be seen as dishonorable. This stigma shame often prevents people from sharing their struggles.
By speaking freely and declaring the truth, churches have the power to express to those who are
suffering that they have worth and are loved by Jesus and are accepted by other believers.
The next thing to do is to encourage treatment. Due to the exact misconceptions
mentioned earlier, those who are struggling may feel ashamed; therefore, this prevents them from
seeking treatment (even from the Church). A huge stigma is that mental illness can be cured by
faith and prayer alone. Churches can encourage followers to seek care that will tend to their
specific situation. The “Lifeway and Focus on the Family” survey concluded that over two thirds
of pastors openly express that their churches hold a list of professionals who deal with mental
health. However, only 28 percent of families know that their churches have a list or that a list
even exists (Alicezac, 2014).
Finally, it’s important for the church to be an example to exhibit Christ’s love to those
who are in a great amount of pain. This can be done by seeking those who are hurt and making
efforts to listen and reaching out. This can be done even in small ways by showing signs of
recognition and by lending a helping hand. They can also continue to pray with and for those
who are suffering by asking God to give them grace daily and lead them to care options that can
help them manage or overcome their difficulties.
I have attended many meetings in which we were brainstorming ideas for fundraising for
the group in order to make donations. I helped to create a musical playlist to give encouragement
to people who feel down. I also helped create a code of policy list that will be used to train
crisis-center volunteers. I have found my time working with this organization to be completely
enjoyable, and I will be working with this group beyond what was required for this class. It
really uplifted my spirit and just made me feel good doing something that was bigger than
myself. By being able to volunteer, I felt closer to Jesus.
As you have taught us, in the lesson regarding to Chirstianity, we aim to be closer to
Jesus by doing things he would do or what is considered “Christ-like” by serving others. I felt
very much like a “little Christian/ Christ” by helping in ways I know that he would have, as he
was incredibly selfless and kind. In conclusion, suicide is a topic that needs to be talked about
more and needs more awareness. It is a problem found in many different countries, and it
transcends cultures. Children, young adults, and adults all can experience suicidal tendencies.
Mental disorders, family histories, trauma, abuse, previous suicide attempts, and personality
characteristics combined with psychosocial stressors are huge factors in suicide. By being aware
of these factors, someone somewhere can be saved. I was very confused on what I wanted to do
with my life, but as mentioned earlier, Hunter helped push me into the direction I am on today. I
have no doubt in my heart that God chose me to be on the very path that I am on. If I could help
at least one person from ending their life or help others to recognize the signs, it would all be
Agency, M. (2014, October 14). Suicide from a Christian Perspective. Retrieved April 05,
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Alicezac. (2018, September 19). Four Ways Churches Can Help Prevent Suicide.
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Bilsen, J. (2018, October 11). Suicide and youth: Risk factors. Retrieved February 25,
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Bridge, J., Horowitz, L., Fontanella, C., Grupp-Phelan, J., & Campo, J. (2014,
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