How to navigate suicide, self-harm, depression, and emotions with preteens and teens: A conversation with Jeff and Terra Mattson

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How to navigate suicide, self-harm, depression, and emotions with preteens and teens: A conversation with Jeff and Terra Mattson

September 5, 2022 - Denison Forum

Jeff and Terra Mattson join Dr. Mark Turman to discuss the suicide epidemic, how to talk to children and teens about self-harm, suicide, and emotions, and how to navigate parenting through depression and anxiety. 

Show notes: 

Jeff and Terra Mattson begin by framing the suicide epidemic and mental health crisis (4:02). They discuss how to start early in parenting by putting language to different emotions and why it’s so important to put words to feelings (10:30). They specifically look at suicide and suicidal ideation and when to have that conversation with kids (19:15). The Mattsons talk about the importance of vulnerability and relationships in parenting and how technology can get in the way of healthy relationships (26:43). They consider when parents should be concerned about their child’s emotional wellbeing (34:14). Dr. Turman asks directly about how to deal with teens who struggle with self-harm (45:15). To close, they discuss the problem of bullying and how to draw healthy boundaries with immature people (52:25). 

Resources and further reading:

P.S. What are my Spiritual Gifts? by Ryan Denison Ph.D. is available now at Denison Forum. The book includes biblical examples of each gifting in action. We’ve also refreshed our free spiritual gifts test at whataremyspiritualgifts.org. If you don’t know your spiritual gifts or are unsure of how to use them, we encourage you to take the test and pick up a copy of What are my Spiritual Gifts? today.

About the host 

Dr. Mark Turman is the executive director of Denison Forum. He received his DMin from Truett at Baylor and previously served as lead pastor of Crosspoint Church. 

About the guests 

Jeff holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and has decades of experience as a leader in startup companies, family businesses, and nonprofit organizations, which includes universities and ministries. Since 2011, he has worked with business and organizational leaders to develop their potential and solve people issues.

Tara holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from George Fox University in Portland. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor, and now works as an executive coach. For the last 15 years, she has run a thriving private practice while speaking to women, and couples, including at the American Association of Christian Counselors conference. She is the founder and clinical director of Living Wholehearted counseling and has served as an adjunct professor at George Fox University’s Graduate counseling department. She is the author of Courageous: Being Daughters Rooted in Grace. 

Together, Jeff and Terra co-authored Shrinking the Integrity Gap: Between What Leaders Preach and Live. They founded a global movement called Courageous Girls, an online resource to help moms navigate the needs of their daughters through every season of their lives. They co-host the Living Wholehearted podcast and run the living wholehearted lodge and retreat, and co-host the Dear Mattsons podcast. They currently live just outside of Portland, Oregon, as they raise their two teenage daughters.

Transcript

Transcribed by Otter.ai 

Mark Turman  00:00

This is the Denison Forum Podcast. I’m Dr. Mark Turman, the executive director of Denison Forum. Thank you for being a part of this conversation with us again today. Today we’re picking up a very significant topic. We want to talk today with some great friends of our ministry, Jeff and Tara Mattson. And we’re going to talk a little bit in a moment about the difficult topic of how do I talk to my teens, and maybe my preteens about suicide and related topics like sadness, depression, those types of things. So just right off the bat, Jeff and Tara, would you like to say hello, and then I’ll give the formal introduction.

Terra Mattson  00:39

It’s good to be here. Thank you. Yeah, Mark.

Jeff Mattson  00:41

Thanks for having us.

Mark Turman  00:43

Great to have you. Let me tell you a little bit about Jeff and Tara. Jeff holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga in Spokane, and has decades of experience as a leader in startup companies, family, businesses and nonprofit organizations, which includes universities and ministry settings. Since 2011. He has worked with business and organizational leaders to develop their potential and solve the people issues that keep them up at night. But I know what that means Jeff, I resonate with that statement. He has a he has master level certified as a core value indicate index leader, a certified facilitator for Dr. Les and Leslie parents symbols program, which stands for saving your marriage before it starts. Tara holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from George Box University in Portland. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and licensed professional counselor, and now works as an executive coach. The last 15 years, she has run a thriving private practice while presenting to women couples and leaders in various settings including the American Association of Christian counselors worldwide conference. She is the founder and clinical director of living wholehearted counseling, and has served as an adjunct professor at George Fox University’s Graduate counseling department. She has previous experience in community health, community mental health, human resources, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, and Pastor church ministries. She is the author of courageous being daughter rooted in grace and the visionary for courageous gathering a virtual conference on the go resourcing women for issues for the issues of today. Together, Jeff and Tara co-authored shrinking the integrity gap between what leaders preach and live. And they founded a global movement called courageous girls, and an online resource to help moms navigate the needs of their daughters through every season of their lives. They co co host the living wholehearted podcast and run living wholehearted Lodge and retreat. They truly enjoy having to live what they preach, as they teach, speak, write and lead together. They currently live just outside of Portland, Oregon, as they raise their two teenage daughters. And on the hobby side, I noticed that says you enjoy a lot of things outdoors, and particularly fly fishing, which I had my first experience with just a few months ago. So maybe offline, we can talk about fly fishing. Great, guys. Thanks for being here today.

Terra Mattson  03:30

Thank you. That was quite the intro. I mean, we’re we’re cutting some things that we’re doing way too much. I didn’t send that I didn’t send.

03:40

Thank you. We picked it up from various sources. I love it. I love it. Thank you

Jeff Mattson  03:45

for to be able to do it. He’s called us to do and Yes, you bet. We can talk fly fishing anytime you’d like.

Mark Turman  03:52

Well, now that our audience thinks that you’re like 150 years old, each because you’ve had so much going on, it’s kind of a summary of your life when somebody reads your resume like that, right? So you guys have been used to the Lord and a lot of ways have been in the church context, business and nonprofit lots of different places. So this topic is is really kind of unique, perhaps, particularly to family dynamics community. Unfortunately, in our culture today, especially in this way if we want to call it a post pandemic or a new pandemic adjusted in adapted environment. We’ve certainly seen deaths of despair, as it’s come to be called Now certainly on the rise as a pastor for 35 years I sadly stepped alongside a few families that had experienced the death of a loved one through suicide is also worked with families who had someone in their midst who was expressing suicidal thoughts. And so it’s very much It’s a top of mind reality. In our world today. Recently, our government introduced, this new idea gave a new number for the suicide National Suicide Hotline, that now all a person has to do is dial 988 to be connected to a suicide prevention hotline kind of a, a mirror or reflection of what we all learned to do over the last couple of decades with 911. So even, you know, all the way up to the highest levels of our government, people are trying to respond to the kind of mental health and despair challenges that our world in our country are experiencing some initial thoughts from you guys on this topic?

Terra Mattson  05:47

Yeah, we’ve we’re seeing mental health crisis because of the epidemic that came from the pandemic, of isolation and losing and shifting communities, right, everything has changed, people have moved, communities are no longer gathering, we’re having to reset and figure out new friendships. And so that is leading to a rise of loneliness and lack of support that maybe we had in previous years. It doesn’t mean it’s hopeless, it just means that we’re having to shore up and to really think through how do we move through the overwhelming outfall of what’s happened in the pandemic?

Jeff Mattson  06:28

Yeah, just say, I mean, I’m in my mid 40s. And I mean, I remember growing up, and yes, there’s a number of people, but the that I had direct or indirect connection with that experienced the, the, the, the heartbreak of suicide in some form in their family systems, or what have you. But you know, I could probably count that number on one hand. But that’s changing. And it’s the sum of those statistics, the symptoms and the precursors that are all being magnified, exacerbated, and through what we all as societies have, have just kind of endured and gone through. And we we are seeing real challenges to addressing those needs, it’s largely insufficient, because there’s the needs were so great. And then the control mechanisms that many in society here in the United States, for example, placed on the ability to reach and access help when you needed it were limited, right. And so just agree with you, in the sense that it’s all hands on deck, everybody needs to be more aware, I think, I think also on the positive side, you know, you see movements of larger organizations, I think of the NBA or other or other institutions that that have embraced mental health, publicly and have athletes and celebrities and people that are telling their stories, talking about it more, that’s a great thing, because it’s normalizing the fact that we need help, here’s how to get help I do, and I’m better because of it, you should get help as well. So some of that’s actually been pretty positive. But I think culturally, there’s an openness, even also in the church, a more of an openness. And we’ve been advocating for this for a couple of decades, more of an openness to integrating biblical clinical and relational health. Clinical doesn’t have to just be taboo anymore, or off limits or a path of darkness. There’s actual real wisdom and integrating these things, God made our bodies and so forth to attune to that, as pastors as Shepherd leaders, and to be more mindful of how to help people. We all want to help people and so, right?

Mark Turman  08:43

Well, and helping people to understand, you know, we, we don’t shame anybody, if they, you know, if they have a physical condition like diabetes, or heart disease or something like that, or they have a, you know, a broken leg, we don’t shame them for that for going to get help. And, you know, hopefully, in our culture, we’re just all recognizing that we all have kind of some kind of mental health challenge. It’s just part of what it means to be to be fallen and to be broken. That covers a lot of ground it. And, you know, no, it’s not always a completely clear distinction between what it means to be broken in a simple way, as opposed to what it means to be challenged with some kind of mental health challenge. It’s all kind of bound up together. We can’t segment ourselves into little compartments as much as we might want to or need to when we’re trying to talk about things. But it’s hopefully the stigma is hopefully going away.

Terra Mattson  09:45

Yeah, often when I’m speaking on anxiety or depression or helping our kids with these things. I start with that idea that we’ve all got a gene that was inherited all the way back from Adam and Eve, but in our families, we’ve got the depression gene The anxiety gene or the denial gene, and we’ve got to be honest about one of those, and a lot of us in the church have minimized the reality of our humanity. And our humanity is playing a key role. So that’s in our conversation today as we talk about parents helping our kids recognize how God designed us with lots of emotions.

Mark Turman  10:20

Absolutely, absolutely. which got us zeroes in on this, this part of the conversation we want to have, which is, as parents trying to talk to our kids, particularly, in this case, maybe preteens and teens, because this is somewhat where this definitely starts to become much more in view, or there’s some principles that you guys would articulate in terms of talking to our kids about, about sadness, and the kinds of, you know, stressors, anxieties that end up leading to this big topic of suicidal ideation, you know, people thinking about, what would it be like to harm myself or those kinds of things? What are some principles when parents try to identify how to have this conversation with one of my kids or with all of my kids?

Terra Mattson  11:11

Yeah, we like to start on a smaller scale with parents to say, to normalize talking about emotions in our home. We don’t want to wait until the worst case scenario. So we’ll get to talking about that, if that’s happening in our homes, but for majority of parents, it’s the culture of just talking about like sexuality, we want to be talking about our emotions. We talk about take caring for our bodies, we talk about caring for our souls, we’ve also got to talk about our caring for our emotions. So it’s often naming emotions for kids, they feel things you know, they get the tummy ache, but they don’t know that maybe that’s anxiety, or fear. Maybe they start crying, and they don’t know why. And when they say, I don’t know, they really don’t know. So we’re helping them as parents, to be able to normalize and to say, we all feel. And some of us who didn’t get that kind of parenting, we’re still learning as adults, how to identify our own emotions. When am I angry? When am I sad? When am I happy? When am I hopeful? When am I disappointed? And so being able to talk about it around the dinner table, we talk about having like a list of emotions on your frigerator. But beginning to normalize, because God if you look in the scriptures, he’s a pretty emotional guy. He’s got he feels everything from jealousy, to anger, to joy, we see Jesus weeping. There is, it’s the fear of what if I feel what then what do I do with those? And so as mom and dad, we’ve got to first start with like, yeah, how do I feel about my emotions? Can I name them? And do I? Do I let others process with me? Do I know how to cope with those? And then to be able to normalize it in the home? What would you say, Jeff? Yeah,

Jeff Mattson  12:48

I mean, just with young kids, particularly, I can just see that picture, the feeling chart on our fridge when our girls were little. And we I mean, I just thought it was brilliant, because I had a couple of feelings that I was in touch with, you know, I get angry sometimes. And I get hungry, and tired. But this opened up my

Terra Mattson  13:06

emotion. That’s it? Well, we’ll go with it.

Jeff Mattson  13:12

I’ll leave a session on that. I don’t know. But I just opened up the kind of a whole other world to the colors that God made when he made us as humans to feel emotions. And I, as I was trying to share or engage with my girls, when they were younger, we go up to that little board there and look at these faces, and they made, there was different expressions, and they had a name. And I just remembered the power of that, because when they made a connection, you know, I say, what would you feel kind of more like this picture or more like this picture? And they would say that one? And I say, Oh, that one and I zone in and on to what they were saying or what were you saying that one? I see that frown is looks. I mean, there’s what is it about it, and we would talk about it, it drew us closer together, what Tara’s describing as this week, we’re kind of framing it as a language of emotions, like in your house molds, that you can have this and the earlier the better, because otherwise, you’re doing more innovative work later, right? For those that need to do that. It’s still never too late. But we’re all about this as early as possible.

Terra Mattson  14:18

Well, and two things that I think parents have to keep in mind is that God designed children to be sensory oriented, they’re not logical for and that takes all the way to 25 to 28 before the cognitive brain fully develops. So their sensory oriented, they’re picking up on facial expressions, and, and everything is body awareness. And then we’re giving them language for that and then fast forward to the teen years. Their feelings are multiplied by three times the amount so when they’re sad, it’s intense. And when they’re happy, it’s intense. And we attribute that to, you know, kind of the crazy teen years but God designed it on purpose. Their brain is being re wired we say brain under construction all the time in our home. So that’s the compassion towards the intensity of what they’re feeling. So when we start to get to depression, disappointment, despair, it’s, it’s real for them as teenagers. So when they have a language, and more skill sets to reach out for help, or doing prevention by talking to them, when they’re 568 years old, when it comes to me, it was

Mark Turman  15:22

so, so good to, like sit have a frame definitions are really kind of that, right? It’s like putting a frame around something so you can understand it and handle it, you know, and just as you were talking, you know, it’s, it’s common, especially with small children, I, you know, I have preschool grandchildren now. And they’re kind of working their way through this, and you start associating in some ways, at times with them that emotions are like different colors, right? You got reds, and blues, and yellows, and greens, and, you know, are you feeling more like this color or that color? And then, as you were talking about, it’s like, you know, it’s almost like the way different foods, fruits and vegetables taste, you know, if you were trying to come up with a definition for what is this emotion or that emotion? Well, it’s just, it’s as varied as a whole bunch of different colors. And it’s as varied as well, how much does how much is a pineapple, different from a coconut, right? And really, all of these different tastes and everything. But you know, just talking about the importance of definitions, I was listening to another podcast by a Christian pastor just a week ago, and he helped frame the understanding of anxiety, he said, you just have to understand that anxiety is oftentimes largely driven by a feeling of uncertainty. We don’t know what’s going on, we don’t know where things are going. And that level of that sense of uncertainty drives us to a place of anxiety and fear. Because we all have a, something of a control freak, default mechanism, we want to be in control of what’s going on around us. And when we lose increasing levels of that we get more anxious. And just framing that connection between anxiety and uncertainty was helpful. You know, it gave me a clear definition. So it’s always going on in our experience, right?

Terra Mattson  17:18

Yeah. And it comes out in different like, I’m thinking about the teenager who’s anxious, they’re probably rude. It’s not a all Mom, I’m feeling uncertain right now. It’s a snarky, you know, attitude, slam the door. But hopefully, we can eventually get to the like, something’s going on for you. And it is the uncertainty of you’re graduating next year, and you have no clue what life’s gonna look like, that’s scary, the fear of the unknown. That’s anxiety. And if you’re talking about it along the way, it feels more normal in that family. But I definitely definitions are really important.

Jeff Mattson  17:52

It’s so empowering to actually have these frames, I mean, as a parent, you no matter where you are in your relationship with your kids in their, in their development, just to know what’s happening in brains, and what is what is, you know, and that helps us to decipher and to separate things from like, you know, sin from what’s happening in the teenage brain biologically and God designed and how do we prepare for that? And how do we not as parents, for example, not take it so personally, I take it, if brain is on fire, and under construction, but to frame them in a way like, Okay, we need more grace for this time, because this is what they’re feeling. And this is what every teen in this age group, by and large, it’s going to hit at some point. Okay, how we’re preparing for that, how are we seeing that? It allows us to be what we say is, you know, be the, the, the thermostat, not the thermometer, right? We’ve leveraged that writers wisdom. And that’s so empowering. And that’s that we take the same mindset here to this topic of suicide, of set of deep emotions that lead to thoughts of harming oneself and so on, so forth, we got some more thoughts to share about that, as you as we continue to engage.

Mark Turman  19:05

Yeah. So would there be, you know, one or two other principles besides like, normalizing conversations about emotions, even from the earliest days of, of children’s experience, but helping them again, with definitions making it normal, as they kind of progress on into the later part of their childhood preteen years, other principles that start to come into play? You know, I was just thinking to myself, when when would be a reasonable time to even use the word suicide with one of my children, you know, when are they old enough that even the simple concept of somebody hurting themselves when you know, a lot of times parents take the will I’ll deal with that when they bring it up. Right? But if they don’t ever bring it up, I get a pass and But I get to get out of this job without having to deal with that topic. That’s that kind of wait till the bring them up till they bring it up could be the worst strategy that you could use, right?

Terra Mattson  20:12

Yeah, yeah. So to answer the two questions, one is the principle is, is suicide in and of itself is that end of the rope, I have no other options and feel desperately alone. So when you think of the antidote to that, it’s I’m not alone. God is with me, I am never alone, he goes with me, he’s in me, he’ll never leave me or forsake me. And it’s okay to ask for help. And so those are principles, we’re teaching our children day in day out that I am with you, there’s nothing off the table, we’re going to talk about it, we’re going to go with you, we’re going to move through this together, the fear of that is where children, teenagers, sometimes not out of reality, but out of their own narrative, or thinking that they’re at the end, and mom and dad, you know, would never understand. And so to do that prevention work of, we’re going to talk about it all. And so part of that is leading into places that are tough to talk about. And if you go there first, then you’re telling your kid, I’m not afraid mom and dad can handle it, I always say it this way to parents is, you know, we want our kids to know that God is a rock, he can handle anything because he can that’s scriptural and true. There’s nothing we can come to him with. And that would shock him right or be like, oh, sorry, that’s beyond my paygrade. God is 100%. So in order for our children to learn that in real time, they need experiences when they come to us when they misbehave, or they confess something, or we talk about something that feels uncomfortable together. And we they see that we can do this. And we’re all Okay, on the other side of that. And hopefully that happens in smaller pockets with smaller practices, before we have to walk them through someone committing suicide, but I would say as it would feel a normal conversation to have probably around middle school and high school, when they’re developmentally starting to understand a little bit deeper, sadly, some families have to talk about it sooner if it’s if it’s within the family unit.

Jeff Mattson  22:18

Yeah, just to kind of tag with that principle of turning towards and in modeling, that we can talk about hard things and we’re wanting to eat, we’re wanting you kids to hear from us about some things that may be that you may see or face or hear about, rather than leaving it to them to figure it out as it’s going on, or hearing other voices that are not going to speak to it in a you know, healthy at our whole way. And unfortunately, you know, I think you would commiserate with us in this as a parent and a grandparent, all those conversations are happening to happen way earlier than we would ever want them to. And if you’re gonna be that first voice, the safe voice to set the tone and to give them some legs up. It’s not you know, that has these conversations have to happen earlier. And I found I’ve talked with our girls about this, as I was engaging with them about past the past of place on the highway where a friend of mine passed away in a car, and a median that I see every time I drive by this area. And I just occurred to me that I could have a conversation with my kids in the car about the fact that I lost a friend that day in this. And they were younger. They were it was pre pre High School from our oldest and pre Middle School for our youngest. And I wanted to know why that I have a sadness about that. And and I just said to them, Look, I hope that you never have to experience this, where you lose somebody that you know, to, to to a tragic scenario. But if you do, and just want you to know, this is how I’m handling this, this is how I’m kind of working through this. And it’s hard and it’s sad, you know, and so it’s those kinds of pieces. And we’re never gonna bet 1000 We’re not going to have every conversation our kids that we would want to have with our kids. We have life we’re doing but trying to be mindful and staying in step with his spirit as those situations come up,

Terra Mattson  24:14

especially if the Spirit is saying, Hey, have you thought about talking to your kids about that? That’s usually the time and we find it in our own humanity, right of Oh, it’s too early, we overanalyze it. But yeah, listen to those promptings.

Mark Turman  24:27

Yeah, well, and it’s just so helpful to kind of open up the windows of your own vulnerability. You know, I know, a good amount of the leadership material that I’ve studied and tried to employ is like, you as the parent, you as the leader, you kind of set the pace for, again, what conversations are acceptable, right? And if you can open up to your kids, and you’re still there, mom and dad, but you can share your vulnerability of hey, this was hard for me me this was sad for me. This, this was something that is a part of my story, you become more real to them as a person and not just as a parent, right? Because they they like to live in the comfort. Well, mom and dad know everything, they they have their world under control, look at them, they look how well they’re doing or look how far they’ve gotten, I wonder if I’ll be able to do the same thing. And they struggle with that.

Terra Mattson  25:28

Yeah, and it takes you mentioned it a little bit takes the pressure off of them having to be perfect, which, especially for those who love Jesus, and are trying to teach their kids to follow with the Lord to share our own humanity. And here’s what God did in my life, or here’s what I didn’t do well, and I’m hoping you’ll get to do different, it helps their faith become more authentic. So when they’re out in the world trying to do life, they’ve connected those dots. That because often as parents, we think we forget that our kids don’t realize this, they don’t know us before we had them. And so, you know, my girls didn’t know that I struggled with an eating disorder until they were in their middle school and high school years, I started to talk to them about that, that is not a struggle for them at all, because of the intentionality in this next generation. But I remember them being shocked of like, really mom, you know, but that has connected to saying, Yeah, I struggled with anxiety. And I’ve had to learn over the years, and here’s the things God has taught me. And that’s why I’m helping you with your anxiety because he got the anxiety gene. So we’re going to be working on

Mark Turman  26:33

well, and like you said, unfortunately, we kind of feel like we have to deal with these things. You know, earlier technology don’t want to chase that rabbit too far. But technology and, and access to information has just really accelerated this for the younger generation. Because through technology, they can access just about anything that they want to know about. Which is again, whole other parenting topic about how you help create reasonable boundaries and limits around technology. But because of technology, they can access just about anything without going through historic pathways, such as parents, teachers, coaches, pastors, they don’t have to go through those normal gateways to get to a lot of different information about any topic and including this topic of self harm. And so you just have to be aware of that, along with being aware of their developmental stages. And, and, you know, a lot of times they can access the information, but they don’t have the infrastructure of their spirituality, their mental growth, their relational growth, their emotional growth, they don’t have an infrastructure to understand what to do with the information. Right? That’s right.

Jeff Mattson  27:52

That’s right. Yeah. And that’s where the relationships are so important, real eyeball to eyeball relationships that can never be replaced, God’s designed for us to, to grow together as parents to parent our kids and shepherd and lead them. And I would just say that one, one thing you brought to my attention, just as you were talking about, like you’re not trying to again, become your kid’s best friend, or somehow lose your authority, you’re still their parent in these processes. But many parents out there, I know that they they’ve they’ve thought about this topic or other topics that they feel like they want their kids to be equipped on, but they do not feel equipped to go there. And they don’t want to awaken something inside their kids that give them ideas. And there’s those those some of those fears are valid and understand why people feel the way they do about this. But when a parent says For this reason this was helpful for me is to get around this frame, I want to be that voice to help guide them through some things. And I’m doing this out of love to equip them because I’m not going to let somebody on accident fill in the blanks for them in a harmful way. When I do that, I’m motivated now to attune to each of my kids and they’re different. All our kids are different. So what might be right for one and one conversation might not be yet right for another conversation with this other child so and so forth, or the the method in which I would approach these types of topics with kids, our kids would be might be different. So it’s just it’s turning towards it’s a tuning in actually, when you share it with healthy vulnerability from your story. As a parent who has all the power in the family system, moms and dads are big, you know, when you model that healthy in a healthy way, you’re you’re showing your kids you’re actually they’re experiencing what it looks like in the real world. We want them to have a voice. You want them to have influence over others. And when you model that you’re not giving up your your your parental role. You’re showing them how that their voice matters, that their thoughts matter and that they in this relationship can influence you as you influence them. And that does something to transform a brain A body as they’re experiencing life together, what do you see,

Terra Mattson  30:03

I’m laughing because I keep looking for a place I can jump in our dynamic mark. But the I love that piece. And the in the part I want to say is that’s prevention. I know it seems so far left. But that is the prevention piece is eye to eye connection with our kids. And I’ll say there’s two problems with the digital without getting off on another conversation as you’re trying not to do is one is us parents are just as addicted. And our kids are feeling it, they feel the moment they get in our car, we’re on our phone, the moment we’re at the dinner table, we’re just we’re interrupted by it. We’re at you know, I was just out on a date with my daughter yesterday, and that phone was pulling at me because I had work and texts coming and I was trying so hard to show her you matter more than that darn phone. So us parents are contributing to that alone factor. And for us to consider if we could reduce some of that for ourselves to look our kids in the eye the moment we walked through the door, to actually give them a hug sometime during the day. Because I think those are simple things that we can go, Ah, okay, I connected with my child. And the second one is social media. And there is enormous data. That is saying that it’s very dangerous for our kids. And so we are proponents, even though our kids are going to be funky and weird, I actually have hope for them. But if you can stay off social media as long as you can, there’s really no need for it, it contributes to a lot of the social issues we’re seeing with children and teens right now. So there’s a lot more we can say about that. But that’s just an overarching principle is hold on social media, as long as you can for the

Jeff Mattson  31:42

good that it has. The the risks are far greater. And we’ve just seen that ever since it was created. And it behind the closed doors of a counseling office and lots of other venues. So that’s a good point.

Mark Turman  31:55

Yeah, it seems to be a big accelerator of mental health challenges, especially for teens. Because it’s, it’s an entire subculture of the world that most so many negative things go on. Right? That’s right. And so, so building really healthy boundaries around that. You know, and I just, I mean, I was speaking to a group earlier today group of adults, and I said, you know, you got to build boundaries around your own engagement with not only social media, but also with just news in general. Because if you over if you overstimulate yourself with that kind of information, it’s, it’s so heavily tilted in a negative direction. And you just, yeah, we all need to know want to know what’s going on in the world. And there’s something important about that, but you have to have boundaries, if, if you’re listening to 24 hour news 24 hours a day, it’s, it’s gonna be really harmful to your soul. And to your sense of hope,

Terra Mattson  32:59

you know, and that’s rewiring your brain, it’s rewiring your brain. Yeah, you’re actually impacting your serotonin levels, and your GABA and all the things that are contributing to what we call in the mental health field, you know, the anxiety, the clinical depressions, all of those are hormone related, some of its biological but a lot of it is what we’re interacting within our day to day life. And so those brains under construction, really need a lot of protection and extra boundaries, those of us that are fully grown, we still struggle

Jeff Mattson  33:28

too much as too much. And that’s just that’s the truth. And, and but why and that’s what we want we’re proponents of is to try to help explain the whys. Why from a biblical clinical and relational space. So we’re getting there today and doing that, which hopefully is encouraging some, some some listeners, as we think a little bit about that, why they’ve got these challenges are right in front of their faces, or they’re thinking about it from preventative and so on, so forth. And, and there’s just, there’s a good reasons to turning towards one another around this topic, and from prevention to intervention. So,

Mark Turman  34:04

so let’s, let’s kind of move into that space a little bit deeper from stimulant parents, part of what parents do is they’re constantly diagnosing what’s going on with their kids, right? How’s my child doing? You know, kind of the first job of a parent, right? Keep my child safe, kind of first number one job? How does? What are some of the clues that parents can look for between? Okay, my child is just experiencing kind of the normal sadness. That goes along with being a human being with being in a world that doesn’t always work the way you want it to work. Okay, this is just normal stuff for for a child that’s 10 or a child that’s 15. This is you just kind of have to go through some of this stuff and you have to kind of coach your child through it. How do you kind of determine what are you looking for in terms of clues and hints between mean, okay, this is normal or no, this is more serious. I need to be more intentional about this, I need to ask some deeper questions I might need to, you know, read a book or even engage a person in, in the mental health space or, you know, at least engaged my pastor or youth pastor around this, get some better handles on this. You know, what I would always tell my people in my church look, asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of wisdom. Whether you’re, whether you’re asking for help for yourself or for situation, particularly a parenting situation that you’re trying to manage. Asking for help is a sign of great, great wisdom and not weakness. But what are the clues, hey, this, what I used to tell people is, I think my child or this person down because they look like they’re stuck. So how do I help get them unstuck in the challenge that they’re facing? What are the what are some of the clues of hey, we may need extra resources for this situation? It’s not just the normal flare of life.

Terra Mattson  36:11

Great question. I think baseline is is again, God designed our emotions. And I always like to think of it this way, it’s E motion, they move. So if the emotions are moving, it’s normal to have a sad day, we’ve got all kinds of factors of frustration, anger, but when it’s a prolonged season, that might be a clue for us when we keep saying, Oh, it’s just a season. And we’re realizing that it’s been months now where we’re stuck in that place. The other one is change in drastic kind of behaviors, or shifts in what you know, your child’s who they are. So it could be great friends are shifting, their interests are shifting, they’re pulling away from the relationship rather than moving toward you. Those might be cues where you’re needing to kind of get someone else on the team to help or to lean in a little closer. And to have that heart to heart conversation to say I’m noticing. Sometimes kids are just really wondering if you’re paying attention. That is a lot of the symptoms we’re seeing is I’m wanting somebody to pay attention. And parents are so distracted and so busy, we are a part of that and fighting it at every turn of how do we stay, we don’t live in a culture where we’re all sitting on the porch, maybe you do if you’re listening, I would love to be where you’re at. But we’re sit on the porch, and everybody’s just hanging out all day. But we’re going from one thing to the next. And the pandemic slowed us down. And we all thought we would never go back to the full speed. And it felt like it doubled when we returned. And so there those are the signs is if you’re seeing drastic shifts happening or it’s a prolonged season, then it could be time to get somebody to help you out and just to do an assessment. Or to do that heart to heart. I can say more, but I’ll let you jump in first, though, I think you said enough. It was good. Okay. And then I would just say if you are concerned that you’re going Ah, this is really, I’m concerned that my child is moving towards that darker place of depression, possibly suicidal, I would say ask your child, it’s okay for you to say, Are you struggling with thoughts of harming yourself? Would you ever do that and let your child share? And and the fact that you even asked shows that you really care and are paying attention. And you’ll be relieved? Because majority of the time you’ll be like, No, I was just you know, here, and then you hear why they’re upset. But if they are like yeah, Mom, I’m really struggling, then you really know you need to get some help on the team as well to maybe check out again, a mental health professional, who loves the Lord and can help you to walk alongside so you’re not doing this alone.

Jeff Mattson  38:48

And Mark, I could just if I could just you did prompt me to think a little bit about my own story. And my parents when I was 15. I was 15 years old, they announced they were separating, they got divorced. And I was 16. I was a sophomore in high school, at the separation and junior at the divorce segment and my mom who was wanting to make sure that I was going to be doing okay, giving me resources through this difficult journey sent me to Christian counseling, I didn’t really know kind of what it would be like I thought the idea of talking to somebody that could help me would be good to have an advocate. So I went long story short. I remember the counselor asking me the question as he was observing. I was I didn’t know it, but I was actually kind of in a clinical depression during this time, and I didn’t know what how to feel it but I definitely was changing which is why my mom got me in into somebody that was a Christian counselor and integrating biblical and clinical relational wisdom. I remember Matt, my counselor Matt, if you’re out there, thank you. But I remember him actually having presented to me a little contract and asking me a question of Have you ever thought about hurting yourself? Jeff? And I? I just answered honestly, I said, No. And then he said, Well, if you had thoughts that come come up about that, would you be willing to sign this to say that you’ll talk with me first before doing anything, and I just, I didn’t know, I had never thought about it. And here he was this idea, seeing some signs in me of clinical depression that we later kind of knocked out. He asked me the question I just answered, honestly. And I just said, Yeah, I signed it. So I signed a contract saying it wouldn’t take harm myself. And I would talk with him first, if I ever had thoughts about doing any of that. And the matter was settled. You know, it was it wasn’t that he introduced something that I had. And that led me to a darker place, it actually was settled, because you brought it into the light, and I got some medication I that helped me for a season. And it did its job. And I got off of it, you know, and it was, it was good for me. And I was a follower of Christ as a young youngster. And I was following him during that difficult time. But that provided legs up that God provided his answers to my needs at that time. And I hope that’s helpful to somebody.

Mark Turman  41:10

Yeah, I think it will be in kind of a breakdown of the myth that has kind of lingered around, in my experience of Oh, don’t, don’t ever bring that question up. Don’t ever suggest that, you know, to your child or to your teen, if you bring it up, then you’re putting an idea in their head that you hoped they never have? Well, you know, we we seem to have come further down the road now. And I know in talking about some of the more celebrity related suicides that we’ve seen, particularly Robin Williams, you know, Robin Williams was a big, big part of the entertainment world of my growing up and of all of us, I’d like how could somebody that creative in that fun ever get to this point of desperation, right. But you know, that in some other stories around other celebrity type people is, now we’ve come to this, Hey, if you’re concerned, ask, because you may be opening a door that that person is longing for somebody to open that door. And they don’t either know how or don’t know where to start with it. And if, if you’re like, Look, I’m just so concerned for you, that I want you to know, you can put anything on the table, including these kinds of scary thoughts, and especially in the life of a teenager, right is, it’s almost like if, if I don’t bring it out onto the table, then maybe I can avoid it, or I can run far enough away from it, when in reality, that’s what the devil wants you to do, he wants you to keep it in the dark. And if you bring it into the light of a healthy loving relationship, if you bring it into the light, of have a safe environment, then all of a sudden, it’s not as scary anymore. And there are people that again, you’re connected to that can help you think through it. And so one of one of those myths, I think that still floats around is is, well don’t ever ask that kind of question to your team or to your loved one. Sometimes you just need to. And you may be unlocking a door that can help them to get unstuck and come out of some of those dark places where they may be drifting into.

Terra Mattson  43:24

Yeah, and again, getting to the root, it’s I feel alone, and I don’t have options. So if we’re there with someone, and we help give them another option, and we walk them to that option, it really does bust through that. And again, when we have the mental health issues running and like Robin Williams, who is struggling with bipolar, those impulsive moments, we do need somebody around us to help kind of pull us out of that that’s where medication can help someone if it’s a biological, you know, OCD, some of those thought patterns that are playing a role in our teens. But I would say globally, majority of it is teens just feel deeply. And for an adult to just look especially a parent to say I’ve noticed you’ve been down the last week, you know what’s going on? Nothing. Well, something is and I’m here to when you’re ready to talk, I’m willing to listen, and then they don’t come and then you just say you know what, I have a question. I’m worried that you might hurt her yourself. Is that true? No, Mom, I would never do that. Okay. I just but I’m here to talk if you want to work through something, and then you might notice a shift. They never come to you never talk to you about it. But they give you a hug the next morning, right? There’s just emotions moved. They reminded I’m not alone. You noticed me and we move on. That’s probably a majority of how it goes. And then in those extreme places, they’ll say yeah, I’ve thought about hurting myself. How did you know? And the next question would be, well, how would you do it? And I think when a kid can answer how, you know you’re at a higher risk and you need to get help right away and you’re getting Are pediatrician on board getting a mental health provider? We’re definitely on a higher risk.

Mark Turman  45:05

Yeah. Well, if so let’s chase that out a little bit. Because as a pastor, I had this. And maybe you can help me because I never, I never had a clear answer to this. But I did have a number of families, they might have a 14 or 16 year old child, and they would call me, because they said, Hey, we just discovered that our child is cutting. And what what’s the first five things I need to do now? As a parent, hey, and they would, they would almost inevitably tell me, Hey, we’ve, we’ve had what we consider to be a pretty healthy, decent relationship with our child. Yes, they have back and forth now that they’re in their teen years. They’re, they’re more moody. They’re, they’re on this roller coaster of emotions that get intensified by puberty and that type of thing. But overall, I look at my child over, you know, a decade and a half, we’ve had a great relationship feel like we’re in pretty solid line, but I just found out, I just just discovered by this or that kind of happenstance, they’re hurting themselves in this way. What are the first two or three things that a parent should do in that kind of obviously, very, very scary moment?

Terra Mattson  46:22

Yeah, it is a scary moment. And yet, I want to separate very clearly that self harm is not suicidal attempts, self harm cutting, eating disorders, drugs, you know, even sexuality and promiscuity. And in today’s culture, we even got a lot of the confusion around gender that’s adding to a self harm type culture, it’s actually a way to try to regulate intense emotions. So when I cut my arm, I feel a relief of the sadness or the anger or whatever I’m feeling momentarily. And then it comes back again. And there’s another attempt to want to self harm. The danger is an accident happening, right? If if some kid cuts too deeply on accident, but self harm is not automatically someone trying to commit suicide. It’s a, it’s I’m crying out for help that I’m hurting emotionally. So that’s how we treat it. Your first step is to say, I hear you must be really hurting. There’s, there’s gotta be some hard stuff going on. And I’m here to help. Do you want to talk about it? Or do you want me to get you to a counselor to talk about it, but for mom and dad to calm down a little bit, because the worst thing is for us to panic when somebody’s drowning. And that’s really the as best we can stay cool, calm and collected. And to recognize that again, I’m a rock, I’m here for you, and God’s a rock, we’re gonna get you through this, but it’s a cry for help, and that it’s this life feels overwhelming. And I’m trying to find a relief, something to make the pain feels lighter right now.

Jeff Mattson  47:58

But it’s a regulation issue.

Terra Mattson  48:00

It’s not knowing how to cope in other ways. So we want to teach them other healthier coping strategies, as adults do it in lots of ways people drink extra wine, they work longer, they exercise longer, right. And so we have to learn as adults. What are healthy coping strategies? And what are unhealthy and self harm is just an unhealthy coping strategy to deal with a lot of pain. Emotionally?

Mark Turman  48:22

Yeah, that’s great, because I’m not I’m not sure very many parents realize the connection, that self harm is not automatically putting you on the road to something like suicide, they wait, those can be very different pathways, right?

Jeff Mattson  48:35

Because I think that’s really helpful as a frame to know that the clinical side of this helps inform us of that, right, because it’s, as you describe that very scary moment. It’s scary, it’s scary. But to have this frame to separate that to realize this is a regulation, a maladaptive coping strategy to get some needs met in unhealthy ways and doesn’t mean that you are facing suicidal ideation per se, that separation can provide some breathing room for that parent, or grandparent or whoever’s in there in that scenario, and to get them to be thinking about as the thermostat how what needs to change and the temperature here. And because the person the team, the the preteen, who is not controlling the thermostat is a thermometer that’s going up and down with everything that’s happening in their world and ie the the emotions they move as Tara describes. So how to be there, grounding presents

Terra Mattson  49:31

and mental health providers can provide extra tools that parents don’t have. So for example, a team that was cutting or shifting from cutting to like, let’s use the ice for a little while, let’s use a rubber band like we’re moving from the last risk, right? I don’t want you to accidentally cut an artery that you didn’t mean to cut, but an ice cube on your skin can feel like a relief until we can get some of the deeper pain and emotions out through talk and journaling and EMDR and some of the other treatment we have But yes, take a deep breath, mom and dad and to go, Okay, this is a cry for help, that they’re hurting. And maybe we you just don’t know what why, or, or what has happened.

Mark Turman  50:12

And realizing, realizing how holistic we are, you know, again, our bodies and our emotions and our spirit in our mind, they’re all so deeply connected, we, you know, in attempts to try to understand ourselves, you know, 100 or more years of psychology, we’ve tried to separate this out into a bunch of clean little buckets, right? But there’s a reason why somebody would, you know, cut themselves in a physical way that is deeply connected. It seems like it doesn’t make sense. But when you start understanding how intertwined and interwoven we are, and that our bodies are speaking back to us about not only what’s going on with us physically, but what’s going on with us holistically, and understanding that and just like said, number one rule of a parent, right, don’t panic. And ask, neutral. Don’t be neutral. And don’t panic,

Terra Mattson  51:09

right? Yes. And I and I loved your be wise and ask for help when necessary. Not don’t do this alone. So

Jeff Mattson  51:15

yeah. And Mark, just thank you for the way in which you’re tickling this. This is our driving passion. We were talking about living wholehearted. Yeah, it’s we are connected, and we need to integrate. And we’ve been taught to compartmentalize our whole lives, our culture, everything from the youngest of age to the to the day, we usually pass, it’s like, we have to face that we have to see the wisdom behind seeing the the integration and why, you know, symptoms, pop out that there’s root causes for those symptoms. Let’s trace that with wisdom and understanding about how God you know who he says he is, who he says we are and how he made us in His image. Let’s understand that with let’s get some help with people who have experienced that are integrating both of these things that are so important, the biblical and the clinical, relational, and let’s find some help, you know, and I think we’re seeing a lot of momentum in the US towards that happening. I just loved hearing you say that the way you described. It was awesome. Yeah.

Mark Turman  52:15

I got just a few more minutes. One more, there’s not a short answer question. But it really is related to the idea of just our kids relational connections outside of us as parents and family. Obviously, you know, when when our kids start to become teenagers, their social environment just seems to become so much more important to them, right. And the way I described it, per my own experience was it was like, whenever I started talking, their ears folded over and sealed up, and they wouldn’t hear what me and my wife were saying, but if it came from just about any other source, they were willing to consider it. Okay. So, so we just know that that goes along with kids getting older and they build their social environment. But the just the connection between guiding and navigating our kids relative to Okay, how are we going to build some healthy relationships with our peers. And then this related topic that seems to be involved so much with teens and teens struggle with suicide, which is bullying. We know that social media and social media environments play a big role in that. But talk a little bit for a few minutes before we wrap up here about how to how do I help my child, especially as they come into teen years, they often are going to different schools, they’re meeting more and more people. How do we give them some coaching points about finding their people, if you will, you know, that’s kind of a common phrase, I gotta find my people. Yeah. And then how to how do we help them be equipped on the other side, if bullying comes their direction?

Terra Mattson  54:05

Okay, so fantastic question and I’m feeling the pressure with time. So I’m going straight to a principle that we teach in courageous girls with healthy our wholehearted leadership development. And I speak about this more in helping raise confident daughters courses through Christian parenting, but it’s this principle of the red light green light yellow light and scripturally. The Bible talks about there’s the wise people, the foolish people and the Wolf’s in sheep’s clothing. So yellow light, green light. Red light is a kids principle that says, Hey, Red Light people are people that don’t feel safe to us, and we’re teaching our kids to be discerning. There are people that want to harm us. They don’t listen to our boundaries when you say no, they keep pushing. So the bullies and often kids bullying is because they have hurt in their life. So that’s a different case. And when we’re talking He’s about predators. And then we’ve got yellow light people. And those are the people who are foolish that you say, No, thank you. I’m done playing and they ask you and they make, you know, they say they’re sorry, but they’re not. They don’t change their behavior. And then there’s the green light people who were all hoping that we have a few trusted few that are green light, who are normal human beings, we sometimes as friends, fight or, or have bad, grumpy days, but we can, we can repair and we can when you say you hurt me, I’m not going to do that, again, I’m going to I’m going to change my actions. So this is an ongoing talk with our kids. And we’re reevaluating friendships all the time, and we’re hearing their narratives of teachers and kids on the playground. And we’re talking about, hmm, what is the are they a red light, green light or yellow light, and sometimes friends move back and forth. But what it teaches is principles of how do we treat each person as Christian parents, we all want to teach them to love everyone and to be you know, but when I look at how Jesus navigates through the world, he is not nice to everyone. He calls those Pharisees vipers. I mean, there are things where he stands up, and he protects from the evil. And so being able to help our kids discern and to be able to have words to honor their own personhood when they’re feeling uncomfortable with a certain friend. And we’re trying to force a friendship because we’re friends as parents, but your kid is like, something about them is uncomfortable. So we need to we need to think about those things in real life scenarios. And that analogy is just a dialogue. So in 10 years, we’re I’m still talking about that with my girls. And like, hey, where would you put that friend? Or that leader? That youth leader? That sounds like you’re uncomfortable with them? Or which light would you put in yellow light, people were more cautious with red light purple, we have huge boundaries with and green light people. We work on repair continually. So that was a mouthful. Yeah.

Jeff Mattson  56:57

And with that metaphor, it’s it is really helpful. I mean, we are doing that right now. And it’s paying off in our daughter’s teen years, where we’re having those conversations from what they’re seeing, as they have entered that developmental stage of independence and autonomy and pulling away from us. And like you said, there, they still are listening to our influences, parents is profound, even when it feels like they’re like tuning you out and listening. They’re they’re checking to see if the messages that you talked about and lived are true out there. That’s what’s happening in that space in that time. And, you know, with that metaphor, you’re not boxing, anybody in I mean, compartmentalizing and just in treating, you know, catching your this person, you’re this person, this person in the negative way, we’re using that metaphor to equip so that we can understand and turn towards and help protect and guide in an appropriate way,

Terra Mattson  57:47

right, teach our girls to discern who are trustworthy and who are not. Yeah,

Jeff Mattson  57:50

yeah. And you’re right. I mean, look at the ways in which Jesus himself handled people who would have been red light people, you know, and the ways you know it, can he forgive anything? Yes, he can. But, you know, he asked us to live in wisdom. And he asked us any, he calls us to good counsel. He calls us to attune to His Holy Spirit, which is reminding us of all the things that he’s taught us as we’ve listened, engaged his word and so on, so forth. And that’s what we’re doing when we’re using that metaphor with our kids. And as adults, I mean, it’s, it’s healthy, right? All of us can do some practice on having appropriate healthy boundaries with people that are green, yellow, or red.

Mark Turman  58:31

Well, yeah, and I just think about that, from the standpoint of what it was like to be a pastor in a local church. And, you know, you’re trying to you’re finding, trying to find the green light people to put them in strategic places of, of leadership and influence within the congregation. Right? Right. But it’s also you know, as you’re guiding, particularly your teens, you do it in community in a church, a local church is a great place to do that. And, you know, I can think as y’all were talking about the green light people that we tried to do life with in the context of our congregation, so that they would be exposed to other trusted adults, that you know, they were testing it to see if if what my wife and I were telling them were true, but then they were also checking it with these other trusted adults to see if that were true. And so you know, as an as a parent, applying that same idea, hey, what about this teacher, this coach, this neighbor down the street, is that person a red yellow or, or green light person, that I would want my child to be in their home or be under their influence as a teacher leader? I want I want to be aware of that too, so that I build a community around my child and around me, so that my child picks up multiple influences that are going to point them toward that which is healthy that which is godly that which is say You’re right, exactly. And you kind of you kind of need to be doing that as a parent, as you help build the environment that they experience as they get older.

Terra Mattson  1:00:10

Yeah. And if you have no Greenlight people in your life as a mom and dad, then you need to start asking the Lord, because that’s a part of the journey, we have to have other trusted people so they can see and lean on to them. So I’m glad you said that.

Mark Turman  1:00:23

And, and that seems to be one of the big mental health challenges that has been exposed in the last couple of years, high numbers of people, particularly men, who are now saying at 4045 50 years old, I don’t have a single good friends, right. And that is something that every adult kind of has to own and start moving in a direction to say, you know, what, that’s not healthy. And, and, and there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of joylessness that happens in that. So I’m going to own that. And I’m going to start, you know, if I need to go talk to a counselor or a mental health professional, I need to go find a church, I need to go find because every person needs to have those people in their lives to be healthy.

Jeff Mattson  1:01:07

And I would just say, Yeah, healthy people get help, you know, say you’re getting help is wise. It’s the same thing. And then also, you know, there’s something about if you experienced that, having healthy rhythms of, of creating, of growing, right, so it’s like, did I stop counseling after I had that period of time as clinical depression as a sophomore junior in high school, and took some medication and sign that little contract? No, actually, I realized that that opened up a whole other doors and the onion layers came off further that I needed to continue to work and process. And I wanted to also know, because I wanted to grow and, and I wanted to become healthier as a young adult, and it got me serious about it. So I love pastors and business leaders and other folks that are that, that are just that have said, I need to take responsibility, I’m gonna get some help. And then but they’re also in the space, then later, they have these rhythms where they’ll do these check ins, and I do these check ins when I need it. It doesn’t mean that I’m in the intensive space I once was, but I want to maintain health. And we got to do that. And so it’s just making it normal, right. And it’s wonderful to hear when leaders share in a healthy, vulnerable way. You know, hey, I had this, and I’m working through this. And it makes it safe for the rest of us to, to, to name our things and to wonder and get curious about what we might need to do to continue growing and being healthier. So that we can actually give to other people rather than trying to take getting our needs met in unhealthy ways.

Terra Mattson  1:02:43

And I would say to that most people listening, you know, those who are like, I don’t have friends, and I don’t know who to turn to. I would say ask the Lord for a name. And that healthy wise people initiate if we sit around waiting for someone to approach us, it just doesn’t happen, no matter who we are, all of us. So if you have a need part of being a healthy adult is being able to advocate for that need. So ask the Lord who, and then knock on that door. The risk is rejection, I get it. But it’s also prevention if we are because isolation is the enemy’s turf. And there’s a lot of reasons why suicide happened. So I’m not minimizing. But that is probably the number one factor is isolation.

Mark Turman  1:03:28

Yeah. And we just always tried to tell our kids but we were also at the same time telling ourselves, you got to be a friend to have a friend. Yeah, you know, you got you got to initiate. Guys, thank you so much for this time. I wish we could talk for another couple of hours on this because it’s such a pervasive need. But just thank you for your insight and for your help today and for all that you’re doing for people and for the kingdom of God. Just great to make the connection with you today.

Terra Mattson  1:03:53

Thank you for having us. Thank

Jeff Mattson  1:03:55

you so much, Mark. It’s a privilege.

Mark Turman  1:03:57

All right, and thank you for listening to our Denison Forum Podcast. And again, reach out if you have a need reach out to a friend, a neighbor, a pastor, someone in your church and yes, there is a new number for you to call. If you just feel like you’re at the end of the of your rope and you don’t know anybody else to call, you can call 988 That’s what that number is 4988 we’ll connect you to a mental health professional and get you started toward a place of hope of hope filled living. And that’s what we would hope for all of you. Thank you again for listening

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV®️ Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®️), copyright ©️ 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.

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