This morning at Essex District High School and this evening at Essex Gospel Community Church we have the opportunity to hear Brett Ullman speak about a difficult topic that is most often not talked about in our school, churches, or homes. It is talked about in popular media, music videos, movies and video games. This topic is self-harm and substance abuse.

This is what Brett’s website (www.brettullman) says about this topic and his talks:

Today, thousands of young people, under-confident and often scared, are seeking release from their personal struggles in ways many adults would prefer not to contemplate and, sadly, ignore. You probably have friends who cut, friends who are bulimic and you know self-injury is a serious problem in teen culture today. Self-injury is taking teen culture by storm and its impact is evident in movies, music lyrics and countless music videos. This talk opens up discussion, raises awareness and shows a way out of the darkness.

The school wide assembly at 12PM today was well attended (~800-900 students) and 90% of the individuals indicated to Brett that they knew someone who had struggled with cutting and/or self-harm. After the talk there were at least a dozen students who spoke with Brett about a variety of real issues that they were facing. This is the first step…talk to someone about this.

I know that there are many people within our community who struggle with self-harm and substance abuse; I know this because I have heard their stories. I also know that while some are brave enough to talk about these things, even more people do not.

If this is you or someone you know, you do need to talk about it and you can get help. The staff and volunteers at Emergency Ministries (EGCC’s Sr. High Youth Program) are more than happy to talk to you and give you the help that we can offer; we are also happy to help you find help for situations that are beyond what you can handle alone. You can reach us on facebook (Emergency Ministries) or by e-mail (youth@essexgospel.com).

Take the first step…you can do this!

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. (John 12:46)

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