It’s clear that Christian values face attacks on many fronts, and Satan’s assaults hit our teenagers with great force. Thanks to the Internet, the entertainment industry, and a decline in the strength of families, today’s teenagers find themselves in a more vulnerable position than ever before.
The challenges and temptations abound. Pressure to measure up to peers causes anxiety and pushes many teens to engage in harmful activities such as substance abuse, eating disorders, cutting, and so on. Constant access to the Internet leads to numerous issues like cyberbullying and pornography addiction. Instabilities in family life cause tensions and resentment at home, which in turn affect performance and behavior at school. The list goes on and on. The frightening reality is that no teen immersed in our modern culture is immune to these difficult circumstances.
• Of children ages 9-17 in this country, 1 in 5 have a diagnosable mental health disorder. The vast majority fail to be identified and don’t receive treatment.
• Every 7 minutes a child is bullied on the playground. Adult intervention is often 4%. Peer intervention is 11%. No intervention is 85%.
• 80% of teens with depression don’t receive help. Untreated depression is the #1 cause of suicide, the third leading cause of death among teens.
This reality is reflected in the fact that WLCFS-Christian Family Solutions provides over 13,000 hours of counseling each year, many of which involve teenagers. The demand is growing significantly, along with the costs to address it. With the help of donors and the income from some reserves, our ministry has absorbed the costs for these services over the years. We need help to meet the urgent circumstances presented and ensure we have a lasting solution for hurting teens.
Statistics taken from nveee.com, stompoutbullying.org, and nami.org.