33 Orthodox Christian Suicides.
Just typing that subject line gives me a kick-in-the-stomach feeling. That’s the number of active, church-going Orthodox young people that we’ve been alerted have taken or attempted to take their own lives.
In the past 18 months.
And those are only young people we know about. Research assures us that the number is much, much higher.
33. In 18 months.
Worse yet, we know in light of current events, the next few months will be especially critical for our young people. That number is at great risk to increase and rapidly. (If you like research, check out new information from the Census Bureau, or reporting from the Washington Post.)
The good news is, there is much we can do! When it comes to the young people in our lives, we do not have to sit idly by. Instead, we can have dramatic positive impact on their good mental health by speaking about it from an Orthodox Christian context. But it’s going to take all of us.
Over the next few weeks, you will be receiving information from Faithtree on what we’re doing about the crisis of teenage mental health as well as how you can help. For starters, download this resource on 6 Ways Christian Parents Can Lessen Teenage Anxiety. There’s never been a more important time to do that than right now. Download How To Lessen Teenage Anxiety
And if you feel this resource might benefit your loved ones, have them go to Faithtree.org and download the PDF, too. This way, they can stay connected now and in the future. Because it’s going to take every one of us in parish life to best support our young people. So the more people who are equipped, the better.
We’ll be reaching out soon with ways we can all lock arms and stand together to change the story on teenage mental health. So get ready, because we can’t stress this enough – it really will take all of us.
May the All-Holy Spirit guide us in our efforts to help our young people in these troubled times.
Michelle Moujaes heads up Faithtree Resources, a nonprofit organization with many Antiochian clergy and lay leaders dedicated to creating resources that help Orthodox Christian churches, leaders and people thrive.