A Field Guide for Catholic Parents, Pastors, and Youth Leaders
Do you struggle to know when or if it’s appropriate to step in to help a teen who seems stressed, anxious, or depressed? Do you know the signs to look for to determine whether a teen is in distress?
In Helping Teens with Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Roy Petitfils—a Catholic author, speaker, and psychotherapist—offers his personal experience, advice, and faith to give parents, pastors, and youth leaders the knowledge, courage, and tools they need to step in, make a difference, and be the presence of Christ for teens in crisis.
Roy Petitfils knows what it’s like to be an addicted, depressed teenager, filled with self-loathing and desperate for help. He describes himself at high school graduation as by far the largest person in his hometown and yet feeling as though he were “stuck in Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.” Weighing more than 500 pounds, he was addicted to food and hated himself.
Now a leading Catholic voice in youth advocacy and creator of the popular podcast Today’s Teenager, Petitfils entered adulthood a very different person than he is today. His life was radically changed by a handful of people in college who reached out in friendship and helped him set a new course.
Using personal life lessons and expertise gleaned from more than twenty-five years in youth ministry and private practice as a licensed counselor, Petitfils teaches parents, pastors, and youth leaders what they need to know about mental health issues among America’s youth. Whether teens need help coping with healthy levels of stress or face persistent, more serious problems with anxiety and depression, Petitfils will help the adults in their lives get comfortable with stepping in.
Petitfils offers information and advice on:
- the major causes of stress and anxiety in teens today
- differentiating healthy stress from toxic stress
- simple steps to take after identifying a hurting kid, beginning with how to assess whether and how to step in
- the art of listening
He explores the support and comfort available through the sacraments, Catholic devotions, different forms of prayer, and reading the Bible. Ultimately, Petitfils identifies how to gently, yet persuasively guide hurting young people to deeper trust in the tender mercies of God.