Christian singer Jamie Grace who stars in the new PureFlix TV series “The Beverlys” has a message for anyone who's struggling with depression or suicidal ideation.
“I’ve been there,” Grace said about her own battles with depression and suicidal thoughts in a recent interview with The Christian Post.
“I know it may seem in this moment that going away and leaving all of your troubles behind is the only option. I know that it might feel hopeless sometimes because of the things that people say, the things that they do, or even the things that our minds tell us when we are in a dark place.
"But please, do me a favor. Breathe in. Now, breathe out.
"Know that if you were able to take those two simple steps, there is hope! Because where there is breath, there is always hope, even when it feels like all hope is gone. You don’t have to feel hopeful to stay. But you do have to know that if you do stay, you will find hope again," the Dove Award-winning singer who was discovered by TobyMac in 2010, said.
A study recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics showed that the suicide rate among children ages 10 to 14 has nearly tripled from 2007 to 2017. The data also revealed that the suicide rate among older teenagers increased by 76 percent between 2007 and 2017.
According to the report, suicide was the second leading cause of death for children aged 10 to 14, teenagers 15 to 19, and young adults aged 20 to 24.
The National Institute of Mental Health has also reported that more people in the United States die by suicide than homicide. Depression among 20- to 21-year-olds doubled between 2009-'17, and anxiety and hopelessness among 18- to 25-year-olds jumped 71% from 2008-'17, the Institute for Family Studies found.
Grace has helped encourage others around the world by founding ImAFighter.org and the Jamie Grace Foundation, both of which provide resources to help children and families. The singer emphasized that it’s important for people to surround themselves with others when they're battling depression.
“Surround yourself with friends and mentors, with older and wiser people who will speak wisdom, courage and faith into your life. And no matter how old you are, if you are facing these thoughts or if a friend is facing these thoughts, first: don’t go through this alone. If you know someone who is experiencing this, you have to reach out and make sure they are not battling this in secret,” Grace advised.
The California native said her second major piece of advice is to read the Scriptures.
“I would recommend reading the book of Proverbs. Start by reading one chapter a day. It’s not crazy long, I promise. But it’s so good! I try to read the book of Proverbs at least once a year and I'm even doing a study of it on my podcast right now! I read it when I’m faced with a difficult decision or in a season of life where I don’t feel like making any decisions. Proverbs is full of wisdom, joy, and honestly, a bit of humor too, and is a great foundation to pursuing hope,” Grace added.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or get Christian resources at cru.org or The Exit Movie.com.