ASAP – Andrew’s Suicide Awareness & Prevention
ASAP (Andrew’s Suicide Awareness and Prevention) is an outreach ministry of Epiphany Methodist Church in Loveland, Ohio. This ministry was started at the request of Joe and Heather Lynch after they lost their son Andrew to suicide, with the initial funding coming from memorial contributions.
ASAP’s mission is to assist in facilitating suicide prevention training, promote activities focused on removing the stigma of suicide in an effort to open up conversation leading to understanding and education, promote events focused on “at risk” populations including youth through college age, and to provide an open invitation to individuals and families looking for a church family who find themselves, or their loved ones, struggling with mental health issues.
Andrew had a special sparkle in his eyes and huge beautiful smile that would light up a room. He was an extremely intelligent and creative person. Andrew was a student at the University of Cincinnati studying Electronic Media. He had a bright future, a deep love of music, was a talented musician and had a dream of opening a recording studio some day. Andrew had a family who loved and support him unconditionally and a network of friends he touched in a deep meaningful way – yet even with all of this, at a moment in time, he was so desperate he saw no other way out than suicide.
Joe and Heather: “Why a ministry?”
When our son, Andrew, died by suicide in October of 2010, we had to come to grips with this loss. My wife Heather and I endured the most painful night we could ever imagine after a police officer notified us just after midnight. After five to six hours, we then had to wake up Andrew’s younger siblings and tell them what happened. Our life then transitioned to what no parent wants, planning for final services and resting place. This all happened within a week.
Our purpose for sharing our story is to bring home the fact that this can happen in what we considered a balanced, “normal”, middle class family. We hope through sharing our story, others may learn the risks and red flags that could lead to suicide. By sharing our story, our hope is that more people will have an understanding about the impact suicide has on survivors.
Our desire in asking for the creation of this ministry was to have something positive come from a horrible event. We wanted to see something good left behind that honors Andrew, celebrates his life, and helps to prevent something like this from happening. We wanted to do all we could to avoid another person feeling so desperate they saw no other solution than suicide – we also did not want another mother, father, sister and brother to go through the experience we have endured.
For more information contact:
Pastor Lisa Kerwin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Lynch at 513-314-6719
Heather Lynch at email@example.com.