May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
(Scroll to bottom of post for a free Resource Guide)
Did you know?
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.
Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. She says in one of her recent blog posts "Evidence is mounting that this generation of young people experiences more stress than any previous generation. Not only that, but teenage stress is starting to reach adult levels."
We are proud to recognize Mental Health Awareness Month in May and support behavioral health care all year long for students and parents. Ground Zero has been blessed with a grant to provide counseling services to teens we serve who need this extra level of support from professionals. We even have trained counselors on-site each week during GZi to interact and build relationships with the teens.
So...what can you do to help a stressed teenager?
Tips from Dr. Kara:
- Beware of what your own stress is communicating. Whether you are a leader or a parent (or both), kids pick up on our stress, and it can increase their own.
- Ask them how they are feeling about their schedule and pace. This is a question I regularly ask my 13 year-old son to understand the demands on his time and focus, and navigate potential overloads.
- If you’re a parent, talk with your family about specific ways your home can be less stressful. Maybe it means getting more prepared for school the night before, or putting on mellow music right before dinner or bedtime, or creating a weekly schedule that’s in your kitchen so everyone knows what each day holds.
- Help them say “no.” Kids are even worse at saying “no” than adults because they don’t want to miss out. Help them say “no” to activities and invitations that are good but not great.
Additional Resources for Parents
Ground Zero utilizes various training and youth ministry resources from Orange. They've provided a fantastic guide for parents with a variety of blog links, podcasts, books and other mental health resources for teens. Please use and share this resource with other parents.
*NOTE: once you open the resource at the above link, you must download it to your desktop in order for the links to work.