September is Suicide Prevention Month. Here are resources for parents, faith leaders, and other caring adults to support mental and spiritual well-being in Littles, Tweens & Teens, parents, BIPOC siblings, new neighbors, and more.
Among our numerous global pandemics – and no doubt due to them – our Littles struggle with anxiety in new and heightened ways. Max and the Purple Worry (Flyaway) includes an authors’ note about supporting children struggling with worry and anxiety; a discussion and activity guide to help children express their feelings is available here.
Parents worried about meeting their children’s needs need worry no longer: The Tending Years: Understanding Your Child’s Earliest Rituals (Skinner) affirms that ‘every day you meet your child’s spiritual and emotional needs – you just don’t know it’ through an accessible and comforting book of insights to children’s earliest rituals.
Thanks to Yale Youth Ministry Institute for providing this wealth of resources – for suicide and other mental health issues – for youth leaders, parents, and others to support young people suffering and at risk.
Find more Mental Health resources – for all ages – in our lib guide.
Consider the mental and spiritual well-being of parents – particularly mothers – with It’s Not about the Wine: The Loaded Truth behind Mommy Wine Culture (Broadleaf), which recognizes, ‘Alcohol isn’t going to fix the systemic lack of support for mothers – and pretending it’s the solution to surviving motherhood does more harm than good.’
While not a fix, in and of itself, the message from The Many’s new song (and movement!) We Are Enough, may be important to share – with moms, dads, and people of all identities and walks of life.
Find more Parenting resources in our lib guide.
Tending to the spiritual and emotional needs of Tweens and Teens is notoriously tricky. Faith leaders and parents can gain some insight and understanding with Hear Us Out: Six Questions on Belonging and Belief (Fortress), which utilized collaborative storytelling conversations to focus on truth-seeking and meaning-making among millennials and Gen Z who responded to questions about belonging, meaning, the challenges they face and their legacies.
Girl/Friend Theology: God-Talk with Young People (Pilgrim) is updated from the original with ‘expanded perspectives, added voices and stories, and an ongoing dedication to liberating faith’.
Find more fresh perspectives on Revamping Faith Formation in our lib guide.
Empower leaders to better meet the spiritual and emotional needs of BIPOC members and neighbors of all ages with A Space for Us: A Guide for Leading Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Affinity Groups (Beacon), ‘the first comprehensive guide for leading BIPOC affinity groups for challenging white supremacy, healing racial trauma, and taking collective action’.
Encourage the whole congregation and community to listen When Black Female Pastors Speak (Convergence) – because ‘their ability to bring the history of black culture and religious experience into the life of Christians the liturgical life of the church’ has the power to ‘reveal prophetic word and action for Christian living’.
Expand hospitality to include new neighbors with What We Remember Will Be Saved: A Story of Refugees and the Things They Carry (Broadleaf), a ‘breathtaking, elegiac odyssey into the heart of the largest refugee crisis in modern history [which] reminds us that refugees are storytellers and speakers of vanishing languages’, and of the importance of saving vanishing histories through story.
Depending upon where new neighbors come from, healthy inter-religious dialogue might generate beautiful hospitality. Psalms, Islam, and Shalom: A Common Heritage of Divine Songs for Muslim-Christian Friendship (Fortress) uncovers, ‘the valuable and mostly untapped role of the biblical Psalms in fostering peaceful friendship with Muslims’.
Find more ways to welcome Immigrants & Refugees in our lib guide.
Spiritual well-being stems from spiritual practices. Inspire exploration – both interior and geographic – with Every Step Is Home: A Spiritual Geography from Appalachia to Alaska (WJK), which includes a free digital group study guide, book club discussions guide, video interview with the author, and a Spotify playlist from her travels (all here).
To bring us full circle, for sustained well-being, try Creating a Life with God, Revised Edition: The Call to Ancient Prayer Practices (Upper Room), with two new companions, Saint Brigit and Howard Thurman, who along with the original twelve prayer practices, ‘ask how we can use the practice of prayer to engage a world in crisis’.
Find a wealth of Spiritual Practices in our lib guides.