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Youth Discussion Topics: 7 Urgent Issues You Must Address

youth discussion topics

What are the top cultural forces teenagers face today? And how can youth ministers be sure we’re “majoring on the majors”? Read on to discover the most important youth discussion topics.

As we pastor students, we must understand cultural challenges. Instead of avoiding tough issues, we need to confront these youth discussion topics head-on.

7 Youth Discussion Topics to Tackle Right Now

1. Suicide

Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among adolescents. Boys are more likely to complete suicide. But girls are more likely to attempt it. Risk factors include a history of previous attempts, family history of suicide, and a history of depression. Other factors are anxiety or mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse, and stressful events or losses. Also consider access to lethal methods and exposure to the suicidal behavior of others.

What’s not true about responding to suicidal kids:

  • Once a teenager decides to commit suicide, nothing will stop them.
  • If you ask teens if they’re planning to kill themselves, you might plant the idea in their head.
  • Most kids talk about suicide just to get attention. So it’s best to ignore the topic.

2. Physical and Digital Bullying

Between a quarter and a third of U.S. students say they’ve been bullied at school. And one of eight has experienced cyberbullying. More than half of LGBTQ teens say they’ve been cyberbullied. Almost a third of students admit they’ve bullied someone. Three-quarters say they’ve witnessed bullying.

The top risk factor is being perceived as different from peers. Boys are more likely to bully face-to-face. But girls are more likely to cyberbully.

What to do about bullying:

  • Help kids grow in assertiveness.
  • Challenge them to stick up for anyone, anywhere.
  • Show kids how to block bullying online and reduce exposure to bullies.