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COURAGE KITS

Teens who are struggling with emotions - such as anxiety, depression, desire to self-harm or eating disorders -  can feel quite powerless. A Courage Kit is a collection of things the teen CAN do when difficult feelings begin to grow inside of them. Brainstorm a list together of positive ways to cope, thinking about what has worked for them in the past, what they've seen others do, and what they imagine could be helpful for them. Invite them to select 4 things from the list and then gather them in a place that can easily be accessed - on their phone, in a pencil case, in a special pouch or box in their backpack. When difficulties come, remind them to pull out the courage kit and choose what they will do to stand. Courage is "strength in the face of pain", and a courage kit can help a young person connect with that strength.

Here are a few ideas for a courage kit:

  • A song, verse, or picture that is particularly comforting

  • An item from a place or time where being strong and courageous was experienced 

  • Soft fabric for tactile comfort 

  • A picture or phone number of a comforting person  to remind them they aren’t alone 

  • Names of people they know who are also struggling so they can support them by praying and remember they aren't the only one

  • A funny picture linked to a good memory

  • A "Big 5" card

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