The United States is in the grip of a mental health crisis. Between 2019-2020, over 50 million Americans said they were dealing with mental illness. ¹ There has also been a marked increase in mental health issues in teens and children, made worse by the shocking increase of school shootings across the country in recent years.
In challenging times, music has the ability to aid the rehabilitation of young people and help them overcome the pain and trauma they have experienced, aiding their recovery and healing. Here we explore how Christian music can improve children’s mental health.
The Shocking State Of Affairs
A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed the number of pediatric mental health hospitalizations has increased by 26% between 2009 and 2019. Most shocking of all, over the same period, pediatric hospitalizations as a result of attempted suicide, suicidal thought, or self-injury increased from 31% to 64%. ²
Since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, it's estimated that nearly 350,000 children have experienced gun violence at school. ³ This year alone, there have been 17 incidents involving firearms in schools. ⁴ Following the most recent school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, where three young children and three adults tragedy lost their lives, experts warned that even children who don’t witness school shootings first-hand can still suffer from mental ill-health as a result. Symptoms can range from nightmares and sleep problems to depression and anxiety. ⁵
Music For Healing
With mental health issues in teens and children on the rise, Christian music can be used to aid recovery and improve mental well-being. When coming to terms with something as traumatic as a school shooting, young people can often find it hard to express how they feel in words. Song lyrics can help them find the right words to express their emotions. ⁶
A recent study revealed that musical activity helped children reinforce positive relationships with their parents and peers. Parents involved in the study reported using music for emotion regulation and to socially connect with their children. In conclusion, music was found to be an effective tool for children, allowing them to build and maintain positive personal relationships, especially during periods of uncertainty. ⁷
Christian music, in particular, can help youngsters dealing with mental health issues. Christian music is full of positive messages around the unconditional love our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ has for offering comfort and support.