Mental Health Matters

Depression, anxiety, and suicide among students are at an all-time high.  What can we do to help the mental health of our children?


There are absolutely times when we need to seek professional help if we see warning signs in our children.  But there are some good practices to put in place to hopefully avoid seeing our children struggle in this area.


  • Exercise.  A simple 20-minute exercise routine or a 30-minute walk a day can do so much for our minds.  A family walk after dinner is a great idea.  Having your child walk your dog or someone else’s dog for profit can be the motivation they need to move every day. Exercise combined with vitamin D from the sun is so good for us.


  • Hydration.  Experts say drinking half our body weight in water is essential.  Send a water bottle to school with your child and offer water with snacks and dinner in the evenings.


  • Food.  We all know sugar and caffeine wreak havoc on the mind and body.  Family dinners are an important part of our children’s lives.  Make family dinner a priority and be sure it contains good protein, vegetables, fruit and a good conversation.  Keep any heavy talk for later.


  • Thoughts.  Philippians 4:8-9 says, Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.  Make healthy boundaries for what movies, tv shows, games, books, and music your children soak in.  It is very hard to forget the negative things that have crept into our minds.


And pray daily for your children.  You don’t have to do this alone.  Seek God’s help.  Ask God to lead you to Christian adults to help.  Make going to church and youth group non-negotiable.  Here, they will hear God’s truth over the world’s lies.  Here, they will more likely find friends following Jesus over friends who are searching for trouble.  Here they will find Christian adult youth leaders to walk beside you and help encourage your child to be all that God created them to be.


Together, we can encourage one another in this wonderful gift of parenting.



Arianna Eckart
Director of NTS Camp