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US megachurch pastor and mental health campaigner dies by suicide
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US megachurch pastor and mental health campaigner dies by suicide

by Tola Mbakwe

Wilson was the associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California and was transparent about his struggle with depression. 

He was the co-founder of mental health charity Anthem of Hope and had a passion for helping people deal with suicidal thoughts. 

Before his death on Monday evening he tweeted: "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."

Following Wilson's death, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, Greg Laurie, said in a statement: "At a time like this, there are just no words. The Bible says, 'There is a time to mourn'. This is certainly that time."

He added: "Sometimes people may think that as pastors or spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people. We are the ones who are supposed to have all the answers. But we do not.

"At the end of the day, pastors are just people who need to reach out to God for his help and strength, each and every day."

Wilson's wife, Juli, posted a tribute to her husband on Tuesday evening.

She said: "I love you forever, Thomas Jarrid Wilson, but I have to say that you being gone has completely ripped my heart out of my chest. You loved me and our boys relentlessly and we are forever grateful that I had YOU as a husband and a father to my boys."

On Monday Wilson also shared on Twitter that he was "officiating a funeral for a Jesus-loving woman who took her own life today".

His death happened on World Suicide Prevention Day.

Wilson is survived by his wife, his two sons, Finch and Denham, his mother, father and siblings.

If you've been affected by the issues raised in this article, you can call Premier Lifeline on 0300 111 0101 or visit mindandsoulfoundation.org

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