Megachurch pastor Jarrid Wilson who advocated mental health for years tragically takes his own life at 30
The 30-year-old's death came during the National Suicide Prevention Week with many of his final tweets about mental health treatment
An associate pastor, popular for his advocacy for mental health issues like depression and anxiety, has reportedly taken his own life. Jarrid Wilson, a pastor at megachurch Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, died late on Monday, September 9, at the age of 30, his family has confirmed.
Harvest Senior Pastor Greg Laurie, in a statement after the tragedy, said: "At a time like this, there are just no words," adding that Wilson "repeatedly dealt with depression and was very open about his ongoing struggles."
"Sometimes people may think that as pastors or spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people. We are the ones who are supposed to have all the answers. But we do not," he shared.
The 30-year-old's death came during the National Suicide Prevention Week, with many of his final tweets about mental health treatment as he urged his followers to seek help if they needed it.
"Loving Jesus doesn't always cure suicidal thoughts. Loving Jesus doesn't always cure depression. Loving Jesus doesn't always cure PTSD. Loving Jesus doesn't always cure anxiety. But that doesn't mean Jesus doesn't offer us companionship and comfort. He ALWAYS does that," Wilson, a married father-of-two, shared in a tweet on Monday.
Reports state that the pastor had officiated at the funeral of a woman who committed suicide just hours before his own death. Wilson and his wife, Julianne, were the founders of an outreach called Anthem of Hope, which assisted people in dealing with suicidal thoughts and depression.
The pastor's final post on Twitter was a retweet of an Anthem of Hope online chat hotline for those struggling with depression. His retweet was made at 8.34 pm PT. By 11.45 pm that night, Wilson was dead.
Wilson had written about his own mental health issues in his recent book titled 'Love Is Oxygen: How God Can Give You Life And Change Your World'.
Earlier this summer, the 30-year-old had also blogged that he dealt with "severe depression throughout most of my life and contemplated suicide on multiple occasions".
Wilson, in his blog, urged Christians to pause before stating that those who take their own lives are condemned by God: "Those who say suicide automatically leads to hell obviously don't understand the totality of mental health issues in today's world, let alone understand the basic theology behind compassion and God's all-consuming grace."
He added, "Stop telling people that suicide leads to hell. It's bad theology and proof one doesn't understand the basic psychology surrounding mental health issues."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)