We know these have been challenging times for a lot of people, and know many of you have been affected too. Among unemployment, the anxiety around illness and the lack of social opportunities, there is an ongoing uncertainty about when/ if things will go back to normal soon. As a youth office, the wellbeing and health of our leaders is a top priority for us and we hope and pray you are coping well in these times. Many of you have adjusted so quickly to new ways of ministry and hope that in all this change, you are still finding support and a safe space for your concerns. Recognising in all of this too, the many complexities of the lives of many young people we serve.
In response, here are 5 resources that address Mental health – both your own wellbeing, as well as addressing this with the young people we serve:
  1. Mental Health and Coronavirus  | Practices to help cope with uncertainty
“… focusing on our mental health allows us to be stewards of God’s creation, specifically good stewards of the body that God created and given to us. Though we are living in a time of panic and uncertainty, we have agency and the ability to take care of ourselves in a way that allows us to continue the hard work of bringing forth the Kingdom of God.”
  1. Tips for managing cooped up teens | 13 awesome tips for youth leaders
“…this is the perfect time for us to teach them resilience – not by what we say, but in how we handle our own stress. Point out to them the tools we use, skills we employ, and strategies that work and don’t work for us. Help them see that resilience is always a trial and error process. What works for one stressor may not for another.”
  1. Stress Management Tips | 6 helpful tips and an activity for naming losses and gratitude
“Give space for teens to name the things they are frustrated, angry, and scared about because they are real, they’ve just gone through so much change in a very short time”
  1. Help your teens overcome their fears of the coronavirus pandemic | Feed anxiety and doubt with the Word of God. Scripture to help you!
“Listen to what they are saying. Listen deeply and try to fully understand and empathize with how they are feeling. Then teach what God’s Word has to say”
  1. Accompanying families with teenagers while Social distancing (Podcast) | Licensed counsellor shares insights to address questions of ministry leaders and parents
“…the best thing that we can do for young people in terms of accompanying them right now, is to take care of ourselves. If it’s good for you, then it’s going to be good for your teens”
NOTE: For over 18s, Grief Care Sydney are running a seminar titled ‘Understanding change, loss and grief brought about by COVID-19’ discussing job loss, isolation, restrictions on being with our sick and aged family etc. More information here.
Other helpful resources:
!! It is important to remember that you are not a psychologist or counsellor to your young people, but can follow appropriate safeguarding measures to ensure our young people get the help they need (and yourself). If you have any further questions or concerns with regard to your ministry and Mental health, you can contact the SCY team or Catholic Care at 13 18 19 or at https://www.catholiccare.org/contact-us/ For urgent matters, please contact 000.
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the Earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though it’s waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with it’s tumult…
Be still and know that I am God”
– Psalm 46:1-3,10