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Historically, the Church has not known what to do with depression, anxiety, or suicide. Our silence in the past was deafening. And while we’re grateful that increasingly, churches are talking about these three enemies more openly, we’re concerned the conversation isn’t always helpful. In today’s episode, Jim and John explore three powerful steps that will help you talk intelligently and compassionately about the triplets of depression, anxiety, and depression.

July 2020 CDC Report: 1 in 4 young adults in America, ages 18-24, contemplated suicide due to the pandemic. 300% increase over July 2019.

August 2020 JAMA Network Report: Percentage of Americans reporting depression symptoms during the pandemic . . . 28%. 300% increase from August 2019.

December 2020 CDC Report: Percentage of Americans suffering with symptoms of depression spiked to 42%.

So . . . how do you lead through this vortex of mental/emotional struggles?

Educate yourself

One of the most helpful leadership actions you can take is to learn about anxiety, depression, and suicide, and what to do about them. Silence on the subject is bad. Misinformation is worse. Pick up a copy of John’s book, Unshakable You: Five Choices of Emotionally Healthy People  to help educate yourself.

Talk about it

It’s likely that at least 40% of the people you lead suffers with one or more of these Bermuda Triangle maladies. So . . . open up the conversation. It’s okay not to be okay.

Provide a preventive/curative framework

Certain preventive behaviors go a long way in keeping these three enemies at bay:

  • Working on our relationship with Jesus
  • Becoming our own best friend instead of our own worst critic
  • Paying attention to our pace
  • Nurturing friendships
  • Getting our body in motion
  • Get outside help

As the rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide remain dramatically high, let’s lead people proactively, intelligently, and compassionately, so they won’t get lost in the Bermuda Triangle.

John Opalewski

Author John Opalewski

John Opalewski is a graduate of Oral Roberts University. He served as a pastor for fifteen years. He has worked in the business world for nearly two decades, serving in multiple leadership roles. John's experience as a leader in both the church and business arenas has made him a sought-after international speaker, coach and mentor.

More posts by John Opalewski

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