Jarrid Wilson was a well-known California megachurch leader and mental health advocate. He killed himself at age 30 on Monday after tweeting multiple messages about depression and his faith.
Wilson was a preacher at the megachurch Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif. He also helped co-found the mental health nonprofit Anthem of Hope. One of the main goals of Anthem of Hope is destigmatizing being open about mental illness.
On Monday, he tweeted throughout the day regarding suicide and mental illness. His tweets were hopeful as he encouraged his followers to believe in their faith.
“Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicide 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.”
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.
— Jarrid Wilson (@JarridWilson) September 9, 2019
Monday was also the same day that Wilson officiated a service for a woman who committed suicide.
Wilson has broken from religious tradition previously by challenging the idea that committing suicide means you are condemned to hell on his blog.
“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 wrote. “We must do better at educating people on things they have a hard time wrapping their heads around. And mental health is definitely a topic Christians around the world must yearn to better understand.”
Wilson is not the only church leader and mental health advocate to commit suicide in recent months. 30-year-old Andrew Stoecklein, a pastor in Chino, Calif., committed suicide inside his church in August. Stoecklein left behind his wife and three sons only two weeks after returning to work as Inland Hills Church’s lead pastor. He had been away on an involuntary four-months-long break to deal with depression and anxiety.