CARRY+, a new program provided by faith-based nonprofit His Whole House, is a self-paced program designed to educate the community to understand, recognize warning signs of and help people considering suicide.

“Suicide is preventable. People think, ‘Well, what can I do if someone has already chosen to end their life?’ But it’s preventable in that we can step in and have these difficult conversations or listen to someone who may be considering suicide,” Creative Partnership Director Claudia Ornelas said. “There is hope for this person to choose life.”

Registration for the virtual program is open now, and Ornelas said it will launch sometime after Jan. 1 once enough participants to form small groups register.

The suicide awareness and prevention curriculum is delivered in two parts. The first addresses how to interact with and connect suicidal individuals to life-saving resources. Part 2 includes practical interactions and exercises that prepare participants to engage individuals after they have dealt with the issue of suicide. The estimated total time commitment is 10 hours.

Ornelas said suicide has been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are seeing people just having to isolate, be in their homes, maybe some have lost jobs or loved ones, and so it’s really compounding their own issues. There’s been an increase in the numbers of people calling the suicide prevention hotline, seeking mental health resources,” she said. “Our goal is really just to educate the public that this is something on the rise and there are ways to learn and educate yourself about the signs and how to have those critical conversations.”

There is no cost to participate in the biblically based program, which Ornelas said caters to individuals age 18 and older, but there is an option for minors to participate with the permission of or in conjunction with a parent.

Donations to support the program and other initiatives at His Whole House can be mailed to 13100 Wortham Center Drive, Ste. 300, Houston.