Meeting a Great Need: Mental Health for Teens and Parents

Frederick Buechner once wrote that “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.” I’ve known and loved this quote for about a decade or so now, but am only recently learning to articulate how it may, possibly, play out in my life. I’d like to challenge you to consider your own deep gladness, as well as invite you in to mine.

It was within the context of answering the question “what comes next” for ministry and vocation that I began to describe my dream job as conversation host. It’s the way I prefer to teach, how I think I do my best counseling, and the lens that I like to consider as I plan any lesson, discussion, or presentation. It works well because a conversation is a two-way street. Lectures and oftentimes sermons are one-way deliveries, but a conversation allows for input from a variety of voices. That variety strengthens, enriches, and adds dynamic to any gathering. No one person should carry the burden of expertise on an inexhaustible number of scenarios or topics. Each voice adds something to the conversation.

In recent years, and increasingly so in recent months, many of the conversations I’ve had addressed concerns over the need for mental health supports for families, parents, and young people. These ideas are echoed in the news, media, or perhaps even your own family. The world’s deep hunger is apparent: we must serve our families in this way.

I’d like to invite you to be a part of this ongoing conversation. Through the support of Westminster’s endowment, we will host several conversations, led by experts in their field, on the pressures, expectations, and mental health needs of teenagers and their families.

Conversations will be held on Wednesdays, October 12, November 9, January 11, and February 8, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. These conversations are for both parents and teenagers, and we hope to support the city of Pittsburgh far and wide. Please join us both in presence and in your invitation to others.

Westminster is responding to the world’s deep hungers in a variety of ways, and we feel that these efforts might just reach a whole new population. Join us.

Ed Sutter