Cook Ministries to host suicide prevention training July 28


CULLMAN, Ala. – Local nonprofit Cook Ministries is teaming up with Alabama Suicide Prevention & Resources Coalition (ASPARC) to bring suicide prevention education and training to the community. The training will take place Friday, July 28, 2023, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce.

Karen Cook Thomas, director of Cook Ministries and no stranger to death as she also works as a funeral director, shared that her passion for suicide prevention was born out of a suicide that hit close to home.

“Through everything I’ve experienced in life, including working in the funeral industry for over 20 years, nothing ever prepared me for the death of my brother on Nov. 8, 2015,” she said. “I only made it through because of my relationship with Christ and the strong, grounded Christians who surrounded me. I cried out to God that I had to find something good to come from his death, and that is how Cook Ministries was birthed.”

Thomas also mentioned that according to the most recent data, 12 deaths in Cullman County have been attributed to suicide in 2023 alone.

“That is 12 too many,” she stated, “For each one of those deaths, can you think of how their family was affected? Their co-workers? Their friends? There is a rippling effect with any death that goes out and affects those around us, and suicide is no different.”

Thomas has high hopes for the training, sharing that being informed is key in addressing and advocating for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts or ideation.

“My personal goal is that this suicide awareness training is going to enable those in our communities with the knowledge of what signs to look for and where to get help,” she said. “The best way to help is to be informed. If we don’t know the signs, we may not realize there were signs until it’s too late.”

To learn more about Cook Ministries, visit To register for the training, go to

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