Promoting Social Connectedness through Faith Communities
According to the 2016-2018 Gallup Poll, 50% of Americans are members of or regularly participate in services or activities of a faith community. During this presentation, Reverend Sherry Davis Molock, Ph.D. of the Department of Psychology at The George Washington University and Pastor of the Beloved Community Church in Accokeek, Maryland, reviews the role faith communities can play in promoting connectedness among members and non-members to prevent suicide and suicidal ideation. Dr. Molock reviews current suicide data, risk and protective factors for suicide, and strategies all faith communities can use to promote connectedness through ‘mattering’ and cultivate wholeness.
Reverend Sherry Davis Molock, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychology at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she teaches undergraduate and doctoral courses in the field of clinical psychology and conducts research on depression and suicidal behaviors in African Americans. Dr. Molock’s research interests lie in developing and implementing prevention programs for youth, particularly in African American churches on the issues of HIV and suicide prevention. Her work has appeared in a number of professional journals, including the Journal of Black Psychology, the Journal of Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior and the American Psychologist. She has served on a number of local and national boards, including the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Faith Community Task Force, Adoptive Families of America, the National Organization of People of Color against Suicide (NOPCAS) and the American Association of Suicidology. She also serves as a grant reviewer for NIMH, NIDA, and SAMHSA. Dr. Molock and her husband, Guy Molock, Jr., are the founding pastors of the Beloved Community Church in Accokeek, Maryland. Dr. Molock graduated with honors from Dartmouth College in 1979, earned a master’s degree (1981) and a doctoral degree in clinical/community psychology (1985) from the University of Maryland, College Park. In May 2000, she graduated with honors with a Masters of Divinity degree from Howard University.