Rauschkolb said some people think that by talking about suicide, teenagers might be more likely to attempt it, but he said Van Pelt says the opposite is true.
“Rich took the stigma off the topic,” Rauschkolb said, referring to the author's presentation for youth ministry leaders.
“He speaks to you in a very matter-of-fact, plain and comfortable way. He makes it clear that you don't have to have a counseling degree or Ph.D. to help someone contemplating suicide. I came away with some very practical knowledge that everyone — adults and students — should know, because this information might just save a teen's life.”
Rauschkolb said in addition to the free seminar, Van Pelt is set to speak at a local youth pastors' dinner, talk at chapel services at Crossings School and meet with a local school district's crisis management team.
Van Pelt's presentation will kick off the church's spring speaker series.