Helping those with mental health issues


By Dr. Bob Swanger - Your Pastor Speaks



We are facing difficult times, and many are struggling to keep their mental health.

Among U.S. adolescents (ages 12-17) in 2020: 1 in 6 suffer a major depressive episode; 3 million had serious thoughts on suicide; 31% increase in mental health related emergency room visits.

Among U.S. young adults (ages 18-25) in 2020: 1 in 3 experienced a mental illness; 3.8 million had serious thoughts on suicide.

This wave of mental health issues has led to an increase in alcohol and drug abuse by adolescents and young adults, according to statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

People have less hope, peace, and joy in their lives, which allow us to cope with troubling times. We need to rebuild these values in our young people. I think that we have not been teaching our kids good philosophy (how life works), and it is becoming evident in hurting young people.

The search for meaning, peace, and joy has left many with a hopeless void. When there is no light at the end of the tunnel, people often ask, “Is there a higher power whom I could look up to for help?” I have a unique take on a core value derived from a scientific/philosophical insight that might be a help.

First, some science. Infinite regression in a physical universe is impossible. Any time we are doing something like reading a newspaper article, we are occupying time and space. It takes time to read an article and that means we are on a timeline. Here’s the tricky part. You cannot have infinite regression from this point on the timeline into the past since time had to start to have a timeline. Okay, all that leads us to the conclusion: The universe had to have a beginning.

Second, the universe is filled with information. Information science tells us that information comes from intelligence. We can connect this truth with the universe having a beginning, and it becomes apparent that an all-powerful intelligence created the cosmos we are in.

If you believe in right and wrong — like it is wrong that these young people are suffering, and it would be right to help them — then you must have a source for these values. If we combine an eternal, all-powerful intelligence with a value source, it brings us to God.

We are not just a blob of random molecules with no value or destiny. This type of philosophy is detrimental to all of us. Life matters. People matter. You matter. You have value.

You are created by a loving God, and God cares about you. These is a reason for hope, and you can find peace and joy in this life and beyond.

If you are harming yourself or if you are considering harming yourself, please get help. There are people who care about you and want to help. NAMI has great resources at www.nami.org.

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By Dr. Bob Swanger

Your Pastor Speaks

Dr. Bob “Doc” Swanger is the lead pastor of the River Church in a Barn in Delaware. He has a doctorate in Apologetics. Learn more about Doc at www.RiverBarn.org.

Dr. Bob “Doc” Swanger is the lead pastor of the River Church in a Barn in Delaware. He has a doctorate in Apologetics. Learn more about Doc at www.RiverBarn.org.