Below is the outline provided during a recent presentation I gave on ways parents and youth ministers can support their teens’ mental health.
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Col. 1:9-10; Eph. 6:18; Phil. 4:6-7; Rom. 8:26-27; Col. 4:2
- Be informed – know symptoms to watch
- Build relationships
Proverbs 17:17, 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
- Build a pro-mental health environment
- Provide for physical needs to make it easier to work through psychological needs
Genesis 1:27; James 3:9
- Provide opportunities for healthy autonomy development
- Model self care and positive approaches to mental health
Mark 1:35, 6:31-32; I Kings 19
- Talk about mental health and mental illness in positive, appropriate ways
- Teach and build emotional intelligence and management skills
- Teach, model, and respect healthy, appropriate boundaries
- If they come to talk to you…
- Actively listen
- Accept their emotions without anger, criticism, or fear
- Ask what they need from you
- Be willing to ask about suicide and other hard topics
- Be honest about privacy limitations
- Partner with healthy adults in their lives and resources they may need, and know when to use those resources.