The voice on the other end of the phone said, “Pam, one of our young men just committed suicide.” He was 11 years old. I didn’t know what to say, so I began to pray for our team, the child’s family, and all those that, in some small or big way, had touched the life of this young man.
As urban youth leaders, many of us have had to deal with trauma in our ministry at some point. Death, abuse, neglect, sudden illness, suicide, divorce, separation, or mental illness. Trauma affects many youth and youth leaders, and you will need resources to help you get through.
Pastor Susan Gregg-Schroeder, founder of Mental Health Ministries, provides educational resources to help erase the stigma of mental illness in our faith communities. Mental Health Ministries is a nationally recognized resource to help faith communities become caring congregations to persons living with a mental illness and those who care for them. As youth leaders, you can utilize a wide variety of downloadable print resources, including brochures, bulletin inserts, flyers, worship resources, articles, and study guides, on mental health, grief, trauma, and more.
During this holiday season, I encourage you to utilize this website as a resource to help recognize and respond to trauma, mental health, grief, and their impact.