SES president urges the Church to fulfill duty to today’s youth during mental health crisis

‘Perhaps then we can begin to see the tide turn on this hideous reality of suicidal ideation in every age group, particularly those in whose hands we will place the future of America’

November 28, 2022

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A shocking new report revealed that youth hospitalizations for suicidal thoughts rose 59% over the past five years. The already rising rate was further bolstered by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, resulting in unprecedented mental health hospitalizations. In order to better support children struggling through various mental illnesses, the author of the study argues that there needs to be a more diverse strategy implemented by parents, medical professionals, and other adults in the lives of children.

Judge Phil Ginn, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), identified another institution that needs to better support youth who experience mental health crises — the Church. In light of this surge of mental health issues, Ginn encouraged the Church to stand firm and provide invaluable support for youth struggling with their mental health.

“It’s finally the Christmas season — the season when our hearts turn toward the memories of home and the promise of peace and goodwill toward men,” Ginn stated. “But there is also a darker side to this time of year. Mental health issues and even thoughts of suicide seem to arise in too many minds as the celebrations go on around them. A recent Christian Post article emphasized this increasingly disturbing trend among young people from even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It appears that from 2016 through 2017 to 2019 through 2021, the number of emergency room visits for suicidal ideations increased by 59%. But in the case of our young people with suicidal thoughts, they were 84% less likely to be hospitalized for it.

“Statistics from all over the United States alarmingly point to a much higher incidence of suicide even amongst some of our very young. Certainly the pandemic and the resulting bumbling attempts to protect our children from the rigors of the disease added to the misery index. But could there be something more lurking behind the ever more concerning statistical analysis?”

Ginn continued, “Scripture tells us that we humans were created to be in fellowship with God, but our actions and thoughts have caused a great divide between ourselves and the holiness of God. In essence, we are born with this great big hole in the middle of ourselves that we try to fill with anything and everything but what it was intended to hold. Culture screams at our children to try all of a myriad of shiny objects that surely will bring them happiness. But the reality is that they can never have enough sex, enough drugs, enough alcohol, or enough deviancy to ever fill the hole. All the ‘free’ decadence surrounding them ultimately has morbid pain and isolation instead of the grace and peace that only true faith in Jesus can provide.

“In actuality, many of our young people in particular have few good memories of home and no hope of peace and goodwill because these do not exist in the things offered to them by this world. So, while we do need to increase counseling for mental health, it is high time for Christ’s Church to stand in one accord and proclaim to our children and grandchildren that it is only through the grace of Jesus Christ that true joy and peace can be found. Then, and only then, will we begin to see the demonic grip loosened from around the necks of the souls of our precious young people. Perhaps then we can begin to see the tide turn on this hideous reality of suicidal ideation in every age group, particularly those in whose hands we will place the future of America.”

Ginn concluded, “At Southern Evangelical Seminary, we are standing steadfast in the truth of the Gospel, and we are staunch defenders of not only a strong biblical worldview, but of our families as well. For the future of our nation — for eternity — there is no other hope.”

Judge Phil Ginn was appointed president of SES in April 2021 after a distinguished career as both a lawyer and a judge. Over the course of his 22-year judicial career, he was privileged to hold court in almost 50% of the county seats in North Carolina. He holds a B.A. from Appalachian State University, a J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Doctor of Ministry from Southern Evangelical Seminary. Prior to his appointment as SES president, Judge Ginn served as SES Chairman of the Board of Trustees. 

SES is proud to announce the upcoming release of “Steadfast: In a World of Confusion, Know Why You Believe.” This new 10-week study for small groups doubles as a seminary primer course and will give every believer game-changing training for living the Christian faith in today’s world. The study will feature exciting sessions from select SES professors. For more information about the upcoming study, click here.

The mission of SES is to train men and women, based on the inerrant and infallible written Word of God, for the evangelization of the world and the defense of the historic Christian faith. SES offers a range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees (along with several for-credit certificates) that uniquely integrate theology, philosophy, and apologetics to build a complete and systematic Christian worldview.

For more information on SES, visit its website at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (704) 847-5600.