In October 2019, the CDC reported that from 2000-2007, suicide rates for American youth ages 10-14 years old were on the decline.
However, the decade that followed painted a very different picture. Between 2007-2017, not only did these rates increase, they tripled. And...recent research shows that the rate at which this rate is increasing...is increasing.
There is a life-defining window of development that opens during the preteen years and within this window we will find one of life's most powerful kingdom building opportunities. This opportunity is certainly redeemable if missed because that is how God operates. But, we don't have to miss it.
The church has an opportunity to be a beacon of hope and help for families with mental health concerns, especially those with preteens. Through intentional AWARENESS, TRAINING and PARTNERSHIPS, you can help lead the way!
My name is Paula and I am passionate about helping ministry leaders understand the formative nature of the preteen years and the opportunity we have to better serve families in the church with preteens whose emotional and mental wellness is at risk.
We are in the early stages of launching this initiative. As we build, I encourage you to check out our resource pages. There you will find links, books and other tools that can be very helpful as you consider what next steps you might take to increase awareness, establish partnerships your area and discover opportunities for training. And please visit this site often. There is much more to come!
I am SO excited for what I believe God is calling into place with this initiative and I truly hope you will journey with us.
Paula Mazza, M.A., Founder of Preteen Mental Health and the Grace In Real Time Podcast
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