Mental Health Issues in Children…

If our children are becoming teenagers who are abusive, have mental health issues, and are committing heinous crime, it only means that we have failed them as a society. We have failed to give them a safe, nurturing environment to ensure that they are well-balanced, useful persons in the society. Vikram Patel

Meditation: We are failing our children as a society. Many children whose family systems break down for economic or mental health reasons fall through the cracks of our social network. These most vulnerable children often lack a safe and nurturing environment. The foster system is often a way for adults to make money rather than provide nurture to children. At 18 foster children are forced out of the foster system and have to live on their own. Often they end up becoming homeless. I wonder how our churches respond to this crisis. I hardly hear or see children in church who are not from a so-called “intact family”. Are churches reaching out to those children and teens who are especially vulnerable? Are foster parents or parents with economic and mental health challenges reaching out to spiritual communities for support? And would they find it if they did? How are we as church failing society? And how is society then failing these children? Mental health begins in communities. Is your church a church that guides, comforts, helps and is patient with children and with teens as they struggle with their families’ conditions and with mental health issues? Could you be a mentor to one of those children who are falling through the safety net? Could your church become a safe place for children who are seeking nurture?

Prayer: Healing God, we pray for all our children and teens who are struggling with mental health issues as depression, post traumatic stress, addiction, suicidal ideations, self-destruction and rage towards others. You know what happened that these children have developed these emotional wounds and are now failing to cope. Open our eyes to see those children who are falling through the safety net. Open Your churches as a resource to society and as a safe place for children and teens to experience nurture and acceptance. Let us be the body of Christ with open eyes and outreaching hands. Amen

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the undisciplined, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient toward all. 1. Thessalonians 5:14 (NET)