Mental health is equally important as spiritual health, and many teens struggle with both. Research has shown that approximately 20% of teens struggle with their mental health; depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder are just a few of the troubles teens could struggle with. With Christian counseling services like NuWell, teens can better their mental health in conjunction with their spiritual health.
Why should we consider Christian counseling for our teenagers? These formative years can be stressful for teens. While their minds are still developing, they’re often expected to think and act like adults. This, in turn, can cause them to deal with mental stressors in unhealthy and ungodly ways.
While some teens will develop healthy coping mechanisms to combat their mental health issues, many will not. Teens may not understand that others feel the way they do or that parents or guardians will be unsympathetic to their concerns. Their feelings are valid, and in order to support a healthy mental and spiritual well-being, teens must be given a safe space to express themselves and receive the compassion and empathy they deserve.
Christian counselors provide the comforting space teens need and someone understanding of the tribulations they face during this trying time in their lives. While Christian counselors are trained to connect with teens, they’re also trained to connect with their parents. Christian counselors connect with parents about effective treatments and how to communicate with their children as they traverse their mental obstacles. Family counseling, individual counseling, or both can help strengthen the bonds of child and parent, their relationship to God, and the mutual struggles they face.
Mental health treatments are often stigmatized in Christian settings. As teens transition to adulthood, these stigmas reflect their worldview. Teens going to counseling may believe that they are broken, crazy, or both. However, as God provides us the means to nurture ourselves physically, He also provides the means to nurture ourselves mentally and spiritually through professional counseling based on His Word.
What constitutes consideration for Christian teen counseling? Anxiety and depression are two common troubles teens today are battling. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens in the US, with 70% of polled teens citing anxiety and depression as a leading cause and adults can often dismiss the signs to be mood swings; anxiety and depression can lead to a serious crisis for the family if not addressed quickly, lovingly, and professionally.
We may notice behavior issues arising in our teens. Often, the strifes of mental health involve new emotions and experiences that teens are unfamiliar with, causing them to behave abnormally while learning to process their feelings. It’s important to remember that while bad behaviors should be disciplined according to God, teens may conduct these behaviors due to the inability to understand their mental situation. Instead of taking their actions personally, respond with love and empathy. Responses like these encourage dialogue and can pave the way toward compassionate Christian counseling.
Like adults, teens experience a whirlwind of emotion when faced with grief and loss. While God provides us the tools and grace to overcome such challenges, even Christian teens might be incapable of processing grief and loss in healthy ways, both mentally and spiritually. When we recognize the duality of adolescence and these cyclones of emotions, we can see the perfect storm of despair that teens could be facing. With Christian counseling, parents of teens can provide the support structure necessary to minimize harmful behaviors and thoughts that could occur in a safe and Godly space.
As parents or guardians, we can learn to identify red flag behaviors that may indicate the need for professional Christian counseling intervention. Recognizing these warning signs as early as possible is vital to identify the best help possible. Remember that teens are people, and they will have good days and bad ones, happy and sad moods, and periods of feeling low. If you notice any of these behaviors, reach out for help right away.
Being unusually isolated
Self-harm or comments regarding it
Moodiness or excessive crying
Paranoia and secrecy
Unusual weight loss/gain
Unusual sleeping patterns.
When your teen enters the realm of Christian counseling, they can feel afraid or even intimidated. Many people-particularly teens-aren’t very comfortable talking about their innermost conflicts with a stranger. At NuWell, your child’s comfort is of paramount concern to us. Many of our Christian counselors are trained in teenage mental health; having struggled with it in their formative years inspired them to help teens overcome their stress and mental conflicts through God. Using therapeutic methods grounded in Scripture, NuWell Christian counselors are well equipped to help you and your teen overcome these difficult times in a safe, compassionate, God-centered environment.