Mental Health

Mental Health. These two words keep coming up in our schools, churches, and the news. In  Siouxland and specifically Hawarden (Sioux County), we are experiencing an increase of students struggling with their mental health. Unfortunately this impacts their thinking, mood behaviors, causes distress and impairs functioning.

One way we assess this impact is through an assessment called ACEs. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years). For example: experiencing or witnessing violence, abuse or neglect; having a family member misusing illegal substances; or instability due to parental separation are just a few.

We see this playing out in the low self-esteem and isolating behaviors of our at-risk students that come from homes where they never feel good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or loved enough. This tears away at their self-concept, causing them to look for attention in unhealthy ways such as giving themselves away sexually, self-harming or abusing drugs or alcohol. This is a desperate seeking of love and acceptance from anyone that will give it to them. 

At YFC we walk across the chasm that imprisons and separates these students from a new life of freedom by bringing Jesus into their traumatic experiences and events. By building authentic Christ-sharing relationships with them, we provide these students opportunities to experience life giving relationships with trusted, loving adults. This inturn strengthens their community connections, producing sustainable strategies leading towards better life choices for the students. By introducing them to a relationship with Jesus, we believe this impacts all areas of their lives.