Spend time to pray for your students, review the session, and examine your own experiences with depression. We are asking the youth to discuss personal and sensitive topics; thus, it is important to take a little extra time to set the stage by reminding young people about confidentiality, loving support of each other, and where to go if the topic stirs up painful emotions.
Young people should be seated in a way that allows them to see each other. One suggestion is to have students sit in a circle. You can also allow students to sit at tables that are shaped as an oval or horseshoe.
Psalm 3:3 – But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. P
The purpose of this session is to help young people examine the Bible as resource for walking through depression and enhancing their emotional health.
In this session, youth will be able to identify specific people in the Bible who struggled with depression and identify biblical passages in the Bible that help cope with depression.
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash a Revolution in Your Life with Christ by Peter Scazzero
Gather (5 minutes)
Activity 1: Prayer and Greeting
At the opening of the session, begin with prayer and read the focal scripture. Invite students to greet one another and to share with another youth in their group what it means for God to be a “lifter of their heads.”
Engage (25 minutes)
Activity 1: What Manner of Sadness Is This?
Depressive Statements from David: “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.” Psalms 38:4
Depressive Statements from Job
Depressive Statement from the Prophet Elijah: “I have had enough Lord, he said. Take my life, I am not better than my ancestors.” 1 Kings 19:4
Depressive Statement from the Prophet Jeremiah: “Cursed be the day I was born…why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?” Jeremiah 20:14,18
Activity 2: Diagnosing Jonah
Friendly Interventions Role Play
Reflect (25 minutes)
Activity 3: Journaling
Activity 4: Sacred Story Sharing
Send Forth (5 minutes)
Activity 5: Praying the Hope-filled Prayers
This resource includes supplementary materials:
Introduction for Leaders