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Mental Health Religious Education Resources for Children and Youth

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Chalice Camp 2023 Curriculum (Right Relationship Focus)

Feeling and the Feelings Toolbox

Chalice Camp Topic Specific to Meditation and Discussing Feelings

by Rev. Sara Lewis

Soul Spaces: Mandalas

by Kathy Smith CRE.  Kathy serves as the director of Family Ministry at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, she shares how a congregation might use Mandalas within worship as a way of meditating or being more in tune with the worship.

Peer Pastoral Care Training  

From the UU Institute


  • Spiritual practices to support mental health in children

  • Pacific Western Region Archive of spiritual practices

  • Mindfulness Activities with children

  • Somatic Activities for Kids: Using Performing Arts to Explore Emotions in the Body

  • Small Group Discussion for Parents - See: Resources for Parents and Families 

  • Suggestions from Rev. Tandi Rogers - Director of the Spiritual Direction Formation & Certification Program - Meadville Lombard Theological School

    • Focusing on Gifts: ways to discern charisms and gifts and put them to use in religious communities. For instance, music is a two-fer because it can be a gift and a wonderful stress relief. Getting young folks involved offering musical contributions either through worship or on a closed youtube channel to be shared with members.

    • Movement/ Sports: getting people moving and cooperating. Consider sponsoring an intramural team, like Ultimate Frisbee.  Or an Inter-congregation kickball league.

    •  Mentors: I don’t think I need to unpack this much.  Multigenerational mentoring and networking is simply good for everyone.  Making sure that adults working with children and/or youth have clear preparation, expectations and resourcing is key.

    • Spiritual Practices:  So often UU congregations try to steer clear of being too religious or talking about God and then leave their children, youth (and adults) with little to hold on to when the going gets rough. Even little children can learn meditation.  My middle schooler got through quarantine by listening to guided meditation on an app called Calm. And prayer. There are so many kinds of prayer!  And then there’s Lectio/ Audio/ Visio Divina using things that are important to them!


By Vanessa Green Allen

Your child can’t make negative thoughts go away completely, but they can learn healthy ways to cope with them. How To Get Unstuck From The Negative Muck will armor your child with skills to take the power away from negative thoughts. They'll learn that thoughts don't have to determine their moods or behaviors. A thought is just a thought! Using kid-friendly text, interactive cartoons, and engaging journal exercises, your child will learn priceless life skills.

By S. Bear Bergman and illustrated by Saul Freedman-Lawson​

By Sarah Rose Cavanaugh​

An investigation into the mental health crisis affecting young adults today, and an impassioned argument for creating learning environments characterized both by compassion and challenge.

By Matt Davis 

By Regine Galanti

Features quizzes and self-assessments to better understand your anxiety and emotions and discover their respective triggers; 30+ CBT-based tools to manage your anxiety along with practical strategies for dealing with challenging emotions such as anger and sadness; and 30+ mindfulness practices to cope with your anxiety in the present moment through visualizations, breathing, meditation, and other exercises.​

By Susan Kaiser Greenland

Susan Kaiser Greenland shares how parents, caregivers, and teachers can bring mindfulness into the classroom or home. She provides 50 entertaining games that develop what she calls the new “A, B, C’s”—Attention, Balance, and Compassion—for your child’s learning, happiness, and success, offering context and guidance throughout. She introduces:

By Will Hutcherson & Chinwe Williams, PhD​

Anxiety is a normal human response to stressful circumstances. But sometimes anxiety takes more control over us than we would like, and we find ourselves stuck in a cycle of fear and anxious thoughts. That cycle (sometimes called the spiral of anxiety) can leave us feeling overwhelmed, helpless, and exhausted. Beyond the Spiral seamlessly combines both faith and psychology to give a teen or young adult everything they need to stop believing the lies of anxiety and to thrive instead of just surviving life. Note* from a Christian source so requires some mental translation

By Will Hutcherson & Chinwe Williams, PhD​

Whether you're a parent, youth leader, teacher, or caring adult, not knowing how to help those dealing with difficult emotions can leave you feeling intimidated, powerless, and discouraged. It can feel scary.​

By Kindra Neely​

This searing graphic memoir portrays the impact of gun violence through a fresh lens with urgency, humanity, and a very personal hope. Available at In Spirit Bookstore

By Kayla Parker​

A spiritual companion for young adults and all who live amid transitions and tensions. Dozens of carefully selected readings address themes that are prominent for people in their twenties and early thirties.

Penguin’s newest children’s and Young Adult imprint. It publishes books for ages two through teen, both fiction and nonfiction, with a primary focus on mental health and social-emotional learning.

By Paul Stallard

Think Good — Feel Good is an exciting and pioneering new practical resource in print and on the internet for undertaking CBT with children and young people. The materials have been developed by the author and trialed extensively in clinical work with children and young people presenting with a range of psychological problems.

Paul Stallard introduces his resource by covering the basic theory and rationale behind CBT and how the workbook should be used. An attractive and lively workbook follows which covers the core elements used in CBT programs but conveys these ideas to children and young people in an understandable way and uses real life examples familiar to them. The concepts introduced to the children can be applied to their own unique set of problems through the series of practical exercises and worksheets.

Other Resources



Learn about Ellie's experience with depression as a teenager.​


Set up trusted contacts and can send a digital flare to those contacts if in crisis.

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