Support for teens’ mental health

The Netflix original TV series 13 Reasons Why prompted educators and mental health professionals to issue strong warnings to parents and schools. The series chronicles the life of a fictional high school student and the 13 reasons she feels led to her suicide. Many are worried vulnerable teens will watch the show without the help of a responsible adult to process the difficult themes, which include portraying suicide as almost inevitable, even romanticized, according to critics.

As a parent of teens, I’ve given a lot of thought to providing an open environment for discussing concerns in their lives. Our talks tend to veer in the direction of faith, since love for God and the Bible has provided an invaluable anchor for my children’s spiritual and character education.

As a Christian Scientist, I’ve learned to cultivate a habit of turning to prayer for guidance in supporting my children’s mental health and helping them see that when pressures come up in their lives, no matter what they’re facing, they are always loved—not just by me, but by the divine source of their life—and that there is a way to find healing. I love the spirit of these ideas: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). And “[The Lord] said, ‘I have loved you with a love that lasts forever. I have kept on loving you with a kindness that never fails’ ” (Jeremiah 31:3, New International Reader’s Version).

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Our divine right to mental peace
October 21, 2019

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