Uncovering God’s Story of Hope in Youth Across America

June 28, 2022

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Decline in Mental Health

Mental health issues in teens have spiked by more than 60% since 2019. This includes depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies. The mental health decline is exacerbated by national tragedies such as the recent horrific shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York. According to the Washington Post, 7/10 school shootings have been carried out by people under the age of 18. With so many negative influences, today’s youth are more at risk than ever before.

 

However, there is hope. Nearly 70% of young people said that after the pandemic, they wouldn’t take for granted the relationships around them. One source stated that youth who have positive, healthy relationships with mentors show increased high school graduation rates, healthier relationships and lifestyle choices, enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence. This also shows decreased likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use and stronger relationships with parents, teachers, and peers.

 

Our Youth are Not Alone

Youth For Christ, (YFC), a leader in the missional ministry community in America for 78 years, is well equipped to build deep and lasting relationships with teens. YFC is aware of this current mental health crisis. They are also willing and eager to stand in the gap and come alongside struggling youth.

 

“The tragedies kids face in this post-pandemic landscape are astronomical,” said YFC President and CEO Jacob Bland. “But God can overcome this. There is a significant opportunity to reverse the trend by bringing hope in a broken world. Our words are imperfect, but we are emboldened to continue putting our prayers into action.”

 

“Youth For Christ’s focus is coming alongside young people who are experiencing pivotal moments in life — such as the current tragedies that are happening in the world right now. Young people can often feel hopeless or overwhelmed especially in times of tragedy. It’s our passion to make them feel seen, heard, and valued. In a world of chaos, YFC leaders are equipped to step into the darkness and be a consistent positive voice.”

 

Building Support

Bland continued, “Jesus offers hope. We want young people to know that God sees them, understands, and cares deeply. This is why we recently launched a new online tool that’s ready to provide equipping and training to leaders who are ready to respond to this call.”

 

“Positive, godly relationships can really turn the tide for a kid who is struggling,” Bland said. “This is what YFC is all about — connecting with youth during key moments in their lives and providing loving, biblical support.”

 

For more information about how YFC is ready to reach youth struggling with the mental health crisis, click here.