Because youth workers deal with tweens and teens, mental health issues often arise. Fortunately, the growing awareness of self-care has led to an opening on this once-taboo topic. Children may be surprised how often mental health is mentioned in the Bible. In both the Old and New Testaments, God‘s people face despair and anxiety, sometimes to the point of contemplating suicide. So, leading a youth Bible study on mental health will provide fascinating and applicable information to your students.
Working closely with teenagers means you’ll encounter challenges ranging from depression and anxiety to eating disorders and self-harm. And while someone facing a mental health crisis probably needs to be referred to professional help, you can walk alongside young people who are hurting. Most importantly, you can share in the love, hope, and forgiveness that Jesus offers.
While you can create a youth Bible study on mental health from scratch, there are plenty of time-saving resources available online. (And many are free!) To help you get started, we’ve put together a dozen Bible-based lesson ideas below. They are filled with encouraging Bible verses that all teens need to hear.
Pro tip: A youth mental health Bible study also works well in a small group. In fact, teens may be more likely to open up and share with a small peer group.
12 Resources for a Youth Bible Study on Mental Health
Check out all of these resources online. Adapt them as needed based on the age and concerns of your students.
1. Lessons from Elijah
By studying one of the Old Testament prophet’s lowest moments (1 Kings 19:4), teens will discover the hope God offers us all.
2. Light in the darkness
Use these Bible ideas to show children how the light of God overcomes all the darkness we face.
3. Self-esteem from God’s perspective
Help teens overcome a “toxic worldview” by grounding their worth and identity in Jesus.
4. Transform your thoughts
Use these ideas, based on Philippians 4:8, to show students practical ways to apply God’s Word in their daily lives.