• Rev. Carlene Appel-M.Div.

Turning the Tide on Suicide

Updated: May 16, 2020

With suicide at epidemic levels in the U.S., suicide is in the headlines,mainly when it's involves a celebrity. Well at least, until the next tragedy dominates the news. But the epidemic of self murder won't go away. This blog examines suicide myths & misinformation, facts, and helping

a suicidal loved one.

Suicide has been around since the beginning of time. In some instances, it is encouraged as a way to preserve one's honor. During war we hear the term "falling on your sword." Seppuku or harakiri, a form of Japanese ritual disembowelment, was originally reserved for

Samurai, but later was practiced among Japanese civilians presumably to restore honor to

oneself or one's family. The Apostle Paul even entertained the thought of it but decided he needed to stick around for a while. "21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me." (Phil. 1:21-26).

When things go south in a person's life,

it can get so bad that thoughts of suicide pop into the head. That's not unusual. We all want the painful things in life to just end, even those who have a strong love for life, don't give up easily and have a desire to overcome whatever's blocking them from pressing on. So thoughts of suicide may enter the mind, just like many other people facing hard times. When we assess people like this, it often turns out that they have no plan, no time frame or what they will use to do it. That is very good news and a relief to the ones we assessed. Here's the thing to remember:

Everyday, thousands and thousands of thoughts pass through our minds. We don't act upon every single one and there's the key. Thoughts are just thoughts. Unless we empower them, thoughts have no power in and of themselves to do anything. So we let those thoughts go and move on with the business of living.

Thus we have misconception number 1: anyone who thinks about suicide is destined to go through with it. This is as wrong as the sister myth that says "Talking about suicide, will put ideas into his/her head." Wrong again and as we know, two wrongs don't make a right. Neither one of those is. Talking about suicide and getting educated with the facts, the signs and the symptoms are the very things that will turn the tide on the suicide epidemic. People who choose the option of suicide don't really want to die, they just want to stop the pain. They believe they've exhausted all other options. That being said, if you are reading this post and not a trained therapist or counselor, and a loved one or some other person has been talking about suicide, especially if they are exhibiting signs and symptoms associated with someone seriously considering suicide, assume they are serious and get help. Call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 For Veterans their families and friends call Veteran's Crisis Line 1-877-594-2732


So what are some of the signs that a person might be planning something? There are a lot of good websites on Suicide Prevention if you just type SUICIDE in your web browser. Let's look at some the information here: It bears repeating that people who choose the option of suicide don't really want to die, they just want to stop the pain. They believe they've exhausted all other options. If you notice any of the following signs get help. Don't dismiss them, and don't think it can't happen in your family. It can. It does. Denial will turn to the most difficult type of grief one must endure if it happens.

TALK: about killing himself/herself/ of having no reason to live/ about being a burden to others/ that they'd be better off dead/ saying the pain is unbearable--can't live like this no more/about feeling trapped

BEHAVIORS: writing about death, dying or suicide/ withdrawing from family, friends, favorite activities, and society/ visiting or calling people to say goodbye/ looking for ways to kill themselves such as searching online for materials or means/ updating a will/ giving away things, especially prized possessions/ increased use of drugs or alcohol/ engaging in reckless or risky behavior/ sleeping too much or too little/reaching out on social media/ aggression/ reliving past stressful experiences/ episodes of excessive rage, anger or wanting revenge/ buying a gun, knife, rope, pills

MOOD: depression/ loss of interest/ bored and detached/ angry or irritable/ anxiety/ ashamed/ sudden, unexplained or appearance of a positive mood change--suddenly happy****

*******Warning: this is where family and friends mistakenly let their guard down. They think the suicidal person is "better."NO! NO! NO! A suicidal person is suddenly happy because they have made peace with their decision to kill themselves. DO NOT LEAVE THIS PERSON ALONE!!! GET HELP!!!

Do not be afraid to ask if someone is feeling suicidal. Better yet ask directly if they are thinking of killing or hurting themself. Ask them "What's the ONE THING that would make them choose to live. It bears repeating that if you are reading this post and not a trained therapist or counselor, and a loved one or some other person has been talking about suicide, especially if they are exhibiting signs and symptoms associated with someone seriously considering suicide, assume they are serious and get help. Call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 For Veterans their families and friends call Veteran's Crisis Line 1-877-594-2732

Remember that God loves you and cares about your hurt and pain. If you have been trying to get back in touch with God and are struggling with depression, mental or emotional pain, PTSD, email Rev. Carlene on the CONTACT page of this website. To schedule an appointment email on the CONTACT page of this website or or call (630)557-6229 in the Greater Chicagoland area. No need to drive to an office, I come to your home for all sessions or an agreed upon safeplace if home is not safe. Or, try a video counseling session

Until the next blog post Blessings and Peace!

Rev. Carlene Appel-M.Div. CISM

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frequently asked questions










Is New Day just for people who are religious?

Not at all. Owner, Rev. Carlene Appel, works with all people regardless of whether or not they hold to a particular faith, or set of beliefs. She has even worked with atheists under Hospice care.


How does Pastoral Counseling differ from regular Counseling?

In addition to Counseling, a Pastoral Counselor also has specialized education and training in matters of spirituality, religious faith, and different religions. Thus, if a client wishes to include any of these during their sessions, a Pastoral Counselor is qualified and competent to do so.


Rev. Carlene holds a Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.), from Northern Seminary, and is an Ordained American Baptist minister. Additionally, having been raised Roman Catholic, she has been able to help countless numbers of Catholics every year. Over the past year, she has become a vessel of healing to survivors of predator priests. 


Is New Day a faith-based Counseling Practice?

Yes. This means Rev. Carlene or any Counselor working for New Day, won't discourage clients from exploring their spirituality or faith-related questions. Some clients have had questions of faith for years, but fear rejection from their clergy or people they have been worshipping with. Some have walked away from their faith or religion entirely. 


Wait a minute, aren't faith and religion the same thing?

Not at all. Religion is a human-constructed system providing a set of specific organized beliefs. While many find religion helpful to explain life, provide a moral compass, and connect them to the Divine, others do not. Some have suffered abuse or been otherwise deeply hurt by clergy or religious people.


OK, so how is faith different from religion then?

Faith, is something we are endowed with by our Creator. We first utilize faith shortly after birth. Though not aware of it or what it is, a helpless newborn, if not abused or neglected, soon develops a sense of faith and trust that s/he will have their needs met. While most people have faith in the God of their understanding, others claim faith in Science, nature, or even their own abilities. On a more basic level, humans practice blind faith every day that their car is going to run, that they will get to work, school, & back home safely, and that they will live to see another day.


I've heard that New Day is Christ-centered. What does that mean?

Glad you asked. It's a way of being. New Day strives to imitate Christ in the way business is conducted and how we treat all people, not just our clients. This means standing beside someone, not over them and building relationships with people regardless of race, class or gender. Being honest, ethical, accountable; practicing good listening skills. Extending compassion, dignity, grace, forgiveness, mercy, respect, and unconditional love. It also includes speaking up about and holding people accountable for injustices, and not keeping silent when they plan or are actively doing damaging & destructive acts to themselves or others.

So a New Day Counselor won't push religion on me?

Absolutely not! That would be very un-Christlike. He was always invitational and respected a person's choice. New Day strives to always imitate Jesus Christ. So whether you're religious or not, it doesn't matter. We stand ready to help: if you are dealing with depression, grief, trauma, abuse, marital conflict, etc. If you need mentoring, life coaching, or premarital counseling. If you have become disabled. If you have a loved one with Alzheimer's or Dementia.


Whoever you are, New Day invites you to lay your burdens down with us and experience compassionate, non-judgmental care wherever you call home, or at a safe location if the home isn't safe, or online (known as e-counsel, or telecounsel).




Healthcare providers, agencies and facilities here's the solution  to the time and expense it takes to create temporary and PRN spiritual care positions. New Day is the FIRST Contract PRN Service Provider of Chaplains/Spiritual Care Coordinators to Hospices, home health agencies & other health care providers, as well as assisted living, memory care, and nursing & rehabilitation facilities, retirement communities, and supportive living centers. If you need a Spiritual Care person as a fill-in, while in transition, or while searching for a permanent Chaplain, think SOLUTIONS by New Day for all your temporary spiritual care needs.



Owner Rev. Carlene Appel is:

  • Fully insured for liability.

  • BLS-AED Certified.

  • Fluent in multiple Medical software programs including McKesson, Healthwyse, Allscripts, Homecare Homebase (HCHB), Kinnser, HospiceMD, Optima.

  • Always professionally attired, so your company always looks good. 

  • Always greeting customers with a Million-dollar smile.

  • Always ready to go with minimal orientation time. 

  • Knowledgeable in the business side of healthcare.

  • Experienced since 1985 with Senior Adults and Dementias.

  • Serving Hospice patients and their loved ones since 2007.

  • An active member of the Bloomingdale & Bartlett Area Chambers of Commerce.

  • Certified as a Trauma Professional and Emergency Response Chaplain

  • Certified Dementia Care Specialist.

  • A visionary. Her 5 & 10 year business plans include adding more pastoral care professionals as New Day grows. Rev. Carlene believes that in the future, agencies like hers will become as commonplace as PRN Nurse agencies.

Rev. Carlene also offers a variety of interactive presentations for staff in-services, patients, family members, and your community. Topics include Compassion Fatigue, Trauma/Grief & Loss, Suicide Intervention & Recovery, Hospice 101, and Alzheimer's Disease & other forms of Dementia: Improving Visits and Care Delivery. 



Rev. Carlene was inspired to birth a new kind of Counseling and Care service to serve those who were needing a Counselor but unable or unwilling to travel to see one. For some, it's lack of transportation, a perceived stigma about mental illness, fear of leaving one's home, shame, embarrassment, or a thousand other reasons people can't or won't get the help they need.


God drew her attention to the benefits of providing this much-needed service to the Chicagoland area and beyond, wherever people call home. This was to be available to anybody, religious and non-religious alike, affordable, and without regard for things like race, class, or gender--the exact same way Jesus treated people. 

New Day Pastoral Counseling Services was born April 1, 2018--no April fools joke! In-home visits are available in these 7 Chicagoland Counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.  ON-LINE Video TeleCounseling is available anywhere in the U.S. and Internationally.
Rev. Carlene is a Certified Trauma Professional (CTP),Certified Dementia Care Specialist (CDCS), Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional (CCFP), & Certified Emergency Response Chaplain (CERC)
"You have impacted our patients greatly and that will always make you dear to us."
                                              Lamari Brayboy III
                             Meridian Hospice & Palliative Care

"Carlene is empathic and caring, with a strong background in counseling, and especially in the area of long-term health issues and elder care. "

                                                             Susan NC Price

                                             SPrice Editorial Services

When it comes to HIPAA compliance and confidentiality, New Day is like a mother bear protecting her cubs. 

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  • Continually monitored by an off-site top-level clearance Cybersecurity Specialist.

  • All devices have a VPN line. 

Our customers' security is top priority--NO compromises!




Rev. Carlene Appel began her ministry career in 1994,

  • Earned her Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) in           2001 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary                      (now Northern Seminary), Lombard, IL

  • An Ordained Minister in the American Baptist           Churches U.S.A.  denomination since 2001.  

  • Experienced. Has served as a Senior Adult Pastor, Hospital Chaplain, Hospice Chaplain (14 years), Solo Church Pastor, and more.

  • Certified Trauma Professional

  • Certified Dementia Care Specialist

  • Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional

  • Presenter of Interactive learning workshops and seminars

  • Trained first responder.

  • Founded a Chaplain Corps for the Specialized Interagency Response Team (SIRT) of the Henry County(IL) Sheriff's Dept. and served as its Coordinator, recruiting and training local pastors to respond to WMD incidents and natural disasters.

  • Experienced suicide interventionist and trainer.

  • Trained in WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and WMD Incident Commander (COBRA), through the Depts. of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security.

  • Training and Certificate in Critical Incident Stress Mgt. CISM 

  • Graduate of Citizen's Police Academy Training through the Bloomingdale and Glendale Hts. Police Depts.

  • Certified Emergency Response Chaplain (CERC) currently serving at the Glendale Hts. Police Dept.

  • Has worked with Senior Adults, particularly those with Alzheimer's Disease or other Dementias since 1985.

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PHONE: (630) 557-6229

FAX: (630) 491-1594

Rev. Carlene makes house calls throughout the Greater Chicagoland area in the following counties: DuPage, Cook, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, & Will.

For persons outside of these areas,try OUR SECURE E-Counseling!!! This service is available to clients anywhere geographically. When requesting an appointment, please indicate your preference for in-person or online service. IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, PLEASE CALL 911 OR ONE OF THE FOLLOWING NUMBERS:





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