Happy summer! We are thankful for the blessing of a complete, in-person school year. God is faithful! Summer is a great time to rest, relax, and recharge. Some families are busy with camps and vacations, while others like to take it slow with no plans at all. Either way, summer can bring about more opportunities for idleness or isolation. These times can lead to an increase in anxiety and depression. May is Mental Health Awareness month and I want to share a few thoughts and resources with you.
Staggering new research shows that anxiety and depression are on the rise in children and adolescents more than ever before. Fifty percent of parents now report that their teens have a new or worsening mental health care problem as a result of the pandemic. Anxiety is the foundation of most of the mental health issues in children, and children as young as 5 are exhibiting symptoms of clinical anxiety. The most recent statistics maintain that 1 in 5 children and adolescents are going to struggle with a mental health problem. A majority of those kids never receive treatment. Unfortunately, such struggles often lead to suicide. The second leading cause of death in children and adolescents ages 10-15 is suicide.
These are numbers that we should not ignore. As parents, we must first take a look at ourselves and the way we deal with our negative emotions (Psalm 139:23-24). It doesn’t take long for our kids to recognize that the burdens of own our hearts often weigh us down. Are we teaching them how to handle stress in a healthy way? Do we need to get help for ourselves so we can help our kids? Secondly, we need to be intentional about providing a safe place for our kids talk to us. Many times we will have to start the conversation ourselves. Lastly, we must be willing to do whatever it takes to help our kids, including reaching out to others when we don’t know what to do. We can’t allow fear or a lack of understanding to paralyze us into doing nothing. We can’t sweep it under the rug and hope its gets better. We must ask for wisdom and take action (2 Chr.20:12; James 1:5; Proverbs 19:20). Below are links for a few recommended resources. Praying for all of you to have a peaceful summer!
Aimee Anderson, LCA Counselor [email protected]
Resources: Axis: A Parent’s Guide to Depression and Anxiety https://lanierchristianacademy-my.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/personal/aanderson_lanierchristian_org/EeIWPl1L22BHsS1Qvx_TqkEBXHdw3vxkb5apTHRoBDFHFA?e=LfDy8t
A Raising Godly Girls Guide to Fear and Anxiety in Uncertain Times (applicable to both boys and girls)
Focus on the Family Resource List: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/get-help/mental-health-resources/