The association’s new chaplaincy program gives young students a safe place where they can openly express their feelings. Experienced chaplains offer spiritual care, emotional support, and regular counseling to give children a sense of acceptance and belonging.
For more information, visit https://nationalschoolchaplainassociation.org
The National School Chaplain Association’s (NSCA) recently launched program helps public elementary schools improve their safety and performance records. According to the CDC, one out of five students under the age of 12 has experienced physical or psychological bullying at school. Their trauma or anger rarely gets expressed in an appropriate avenue because, more often than not, public schools do not have the budget necessary to hire counselors or psychologists.
There is an ongoing mental health epidemic that has struck increasingly younger audiences over the last ten years. The NSCA explains that the number of children who show signs of depression, anxiety, rage, and lack of respect for authority has skyrocketed over the last decade, and some of them exhibit these behaviors at around seven or eight years of age. In comparison, data from the 1980s to the 1990s suggests that such rebellious behaviors don’t occur until children are 10 to 12 years old.
The NSCA attributes that shift in children’s behavior to a lack of a spiritual foundation and care. Life is becoming increasingly fast-paced, and parents are busier than ever trying to make ends meet. The association believes this results in parents not having enough time to spend with their kids to listen to their problems. This is not something that can easily be resolved, as it involves many socioeconomic factors, but the effects can be mitigated if schools provide better mental health programs to their students.
Prayer and the scripture are at the core of the NSCA’s teachings, and all the chaplains have had rigorous religious training. While all denominations are welcome to speak to the school chaplain, the advice students receive is based on the scripture. However, this does not mean they are encouraged to convert to Christianity. Many bible teachings revolve around universal truths like respect for the self and others, obedience, respect for authority, and surrendering to a higher power.
More information is available at https://nationalschoolchaplainassociation.org/chaplains
national School Chaplain Association
PO Box 720746
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