by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada
"The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, You restore him to health." (Psalm 41:3)
The turbulent mental health condition of today’s children is a major concern.
Mental health problems originating from anxiety and depression is the number one issue facing schools today. It is also the least attended problem. It’s a sleeping giant. We wouldn’t let a child walk around with a broken arm, but kids with mental illness suffer just the same. One in five children in Canada suffers from a mental health problem, suffering from illnesses such as anxiety, mood problems, low esteem and thoughts of suicide.
We need compassionate, loving and understanding counsellors, parents and teachers. The church has a major role to play to mitigate, harness and control this giant elephant who is hurting the minds and heads of children. A spiritual atmosphere of love and concern will bring peace in the turbulent minds of children. The God of love and healing can bring them back to the mainstream.
Jeremiah 33:6 - ”Behold, I will bring you health and cure, and will cure you and will revive unto you the abundance of peace and safety.”
God sees the mind and heart before the body. Treatment is for the wholeness of human soul, mind and body.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 - "Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless (sound, complete and intact) at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Let us bring our children in front of Jesus with hope and faith. Trust him. He will revive your children from the present mental disturbance into someone with peace and hope.
Ayesha Jabbar was in grade 9 at Scarborough R.H. King Academy when her parents’ marriage broke up and she was diagnosed with clinical depression. She tried to kill herself twice in the following years. “My family is from South Asia, where depression is seen as something you should just snap out of,” said Jabbar, now 21, a social work student at Ryerson University, who now feels she is on a solid treatment plan. “But the great part was, I had a guidance counsellor who reached out to me when I wasn’t coming to class, otherwise they would have suspended me,” said Jabbar. She arranged accommodations for me when I was on an emotional roller coaster. It’s a stressful world. Kids need a lot of support.
Jesus, we are in a stressful world and we need your peace and solace. We pray for all the children who are in the depression of life's challenges. Save them from the pits of mental illness. We pray for the care givers, parents, teachers and immediate handlers of children. Let our church be an asylum and hospital for the children of mental health. We pray for Jabbar and others like her. All we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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