The subject of mental health is obviously a big one – a big one for churches to tackle, a big one for campuses to tackle, and one that college ministries shouldn’t fall short of addressing. It’s not too scandalous to say that Christians haven’t exactly handled this one as excellently as we could have, either in wisdom or winsomeness.
But like I said, it’s a huge subject.
But one small piece of that subject is having discussions with your student leaders about their own health – probably as you’re considering their leadership role in the first place. You should discuss with incoming leaders what they’re currently struggling with, including knowing about any current or past mental health struggles. This vulnerability will help them, and you’ll be able to disciple them best, all throughout their time in leadership. Like any potential concern – even though mental/emotional health doesn’t necessarily involve sin issues – you need to know about struggles that could come up… and not just for the ministry, but for the person.
If this seems too “personal,” then it’s worth asking yourself why it does. If you’re not asking your student leaders to be vulnerable about all sorts of things, then you’re only “raising up leaders” with halfway measures.
One of the things they should be willing to share is their emotional/mental health, and any steps they’re taking to buttress it. Are you willing to ask the questions?