Head Games: Night 4 Recap

Village Youth
June 20, 2017
Series: Head Games
Title: Ending Head Games, but Continuing the Conversation
By: Kimmi Poleshuk

On June 20, 2017, Village Youth wrapped up the series: Head Games with a panel
featuring Julie, Donna-Lyn, Justin, Josh, and Michael. Discussing the overwhelming
feelings of anxiety and depression the panel tried to answer questions about how we can
deal with mental health at a personal level as well as how we can help others through the
battle. The series Head Games gave Youth the opportunity to discuss topics that are
widely experienced while not having the stigma of being ‘abnormal’. That said, the
openness of the series reminds us that we don’t have to have it put together all the time
either, and in saying this the panel encouraged us to continue the conversation of mental
illness, even when the series is over.

Mental health is a battle that cannot be defeated alone, as it was emphasized in every
installment of this series; we need at least one other person or even better a strong God
centered community in order to change and get healthier – whatever healthy is for you at
a personal level. This looks like both letting others around you know if you are going
through a season in your life that you cannot handle alone while also being there for
others that put themselves out there and helping them out. There is always someone who
cares; this means that sometimes we have to put the well-being of others ahead of our
relationships with them, effectively asking ourselves “Am I okay with losing a friend if
that means you are saving a life and bringing someone closer to Jesus?”

Alongside our place in our community, we have to remember what our position is
compared to God, and how we are leaning on Him for support. This can mean that even
though we have cast our anxieties and feelings of depression onto God, He doesn’t
have an obligation to relieve us of these feelings in your life. This can be difficult –
especially in the moment of suffering, but as stated by the panel, God is far more
concerned with our reliance on Him than our health and relationships with others. The
result of this may mean that we are left with our anxiety and depression in order for us to
need God even more and lean on Him and that’s something we have to be okay with.
Finally, there were two other lasting themes throughout the series, which may not seem
like they can fit into the same category but here they are: social media and the Gospel. It
was unanimously agreed along the panel that social media has changed the landscape in
which youth grow up in today, adding a new opening for a pressure that did not exist
before. Broadly, the structure of social media encourages us to only post the ‘best
versions of ourselves’, this especially emerges when we begin to compare what this
means for us versus others. Often, this translates into our lives offline and can plant the
seeds of depression and anxiety. However, if we flip this topic, a question that I have and
ask myself is how can we use social media as a tool to show others the Gospel or a
Gospel-centered lifestyle?

And finally, ending on the last theme that prevails through everything: Jesus. As
believers, we have to remember that even though it may not feel like it in the moment, we
have already won the battle of depression and anxiety in the long run because we have
Jesus on our side. Dying on the cross for our sins Jesus has defeated these things for us
and all we need to is lean on Him. If you don’t know what that looks like, be encouraged
to learn the tools you need to get there, as it is a conscious decision that we need to make
everyday.

michael Chinchilla