It’s easy to think that children don’t get affected by things like mental illness.
And yet concerns about mental health are the number one reason children and young people contacted Childline in 2017 and Place2B3 estimating that 8 in 10 children struggling with low self-esteem.
This years Children’s Mental Health Week is focussed on “Being Yourself” the Bible is clear about our inherent value and the importance of leading children to Him, showing them that they’re valuable not because of what they do – but because of who they are and that they’re created by the Father.
“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
This scripture reminds us about the important of involving children in our ministries; leading them to Jesus and we also need to start talking about what the Bible says about emotions and equipping parents to face the challenges of parenting and mental health.
Whether it be holding a mental health event at your Mother and Toddler group or exploring the Psalms with your Sunday group we need to make sure we aren’t avoiding something that our children are facing.
We also need to be involved in supporting parents; it might be running a parenting course, hosting an after school club or partnering with an organisation like Care for the Family to ensure that those who need extra support are able to access it.
Let this week be a reminder that we can’t shy away from talking about mental health – not even with our children.