Helping Tweens & Teens Overcome Anxiety & Depression


Thanks for joining with us for the first online parent’s workshop presented by True Girl and Born to Be Brave. Here is your Workshop Response Kit with all of the digital resources we mentioned—and a few more—at your fingertips.

Here's a recording of the entire workshop for your review. We have also created a special section at the bottom of this page to address some of the common questions and answers that arose during our workshop including, "How do I find a Christian counselor for my child," and "How do I know if the anxiety my child is experiencing requires professional help." Scroll down to find links and resources to answer these and more questions.

The epidemic of depression, anxiety, and suicide is a war against the hearts and souls of our children and grandchildren. It’s an unseen battle, but a fierce one that takes victims none-the-less.

What if we knew we could save some lives if we fasted and prayed? Would you join us?

In Daniel chapter ten we find that God did, in fact, send help when the prophet first prayed for it. But the Bible reveals that if Daniel had not prayed and fasted, it might not have happened. The angel who arrives says this as recorded in verses 12 and 13:

"Don’t be afraid, Daniel. God has heard everything that you said ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in front of your God so that you could learn to understand things. I have come in response to your prayer. The commander of the Persian kingdom opposed me for 21 days. But then Michael, one of the chief commanders, came to help me because I was left alone with the kings of Persia."

Daniel’s faithfulness to fast and pray allowed the battle to shift in unseen places. While we believe that the practical tips and ideas we have offered in our workshop to Overcome Depression & Anxiety In Tweens & Teens must be responded to, nothing matters more than the work we do on our knees. Please join us in fasting and prayer so that we can be witness to the battle shifting in unseen places.

Attached is your God is Our Deliverer prayer guide, created in partnership with Moms in Prayer, International to confront this battle. Please consider inviting a minimum of 3 others to join you in praying through it for a maximum of one hour.

Manage Your Daughter's Emotions

Many times our emotions are unhealthy because there are lies deep down in the roots of our belief system. Learn how to identify them, rip them up, and replace them with God’s Truth in this series. Available for women, men, teen girls, tween girls, and their mothers

Manage Your Use of Media with Help from Arlene Pellicane

Arlene Pellicane

Learn more about Arlene and get copies of the books mentioned on tonight’s podcast including Growing Up Social and Calm, Cool, and Connected and find links to her podcast and other digital tools by visiting her webpage. She also has the following video series available.

Technology & Your Girl

Equip your children with skills to manage their use of media using Arlene’s video series produced in partnership with Truth Becomes Her.


Dive into Prayer with These Encouragements from Donna VanLiere

Donna VanLiere

Gain courage to navigate through some of the anxiety about our global difficulties by understanding how it all fits into God’s timeline. Donna’s new book The Time Of Jacob’s Trouble and her podcast “Things Are Looking Up” provide riveting content and remind us that sometimes hard things are actually good news.


In addition to these resources, Donna wanted you to have a list of all the Bible verses she prayed over you as she prepared for this workshop. They might be a good tool for you to use as you pray in the coming days.

Power Verses for Overcoming Anxiety & Depression


  • I Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • Romans 12:12
  • II Chronicles 7:14
  • Ephesians 6:10-20
  • John 10:10
  • I John 4:4
  • Isaiah 41:10

Frequently Asked Questions

We were overwhelmed by the volume of questions you sent during our live workshop on Overcoming Anxiety & Depression for Tweens & Teens. But we wanted to address as many of them as possible by providing some of the most commonly asked questions here along with some resources for further exploration.


This might be shocking, but it's wise to begin when they are pre-schoolers. As soon as you have a device in their hands and are not with them every single moment—and that seems to be earlier and earlier these days—they need a vocabulary to tell you when they've seen a "bad picture." During the workshop, we mentioned Good Pictures, Bad Pictures which is a book that gives young children an awareness that there is danger on the Internet and a vocabulary to talk to you about it. (Think of this kind of like the conversation on "stranger danger" you start with them very early in their life. It will not rob them of their innocence but will protect it when the conversation is presented carefully.) This book was originally created for children aged 7-11 and there is a newer version of it for children aged 3-6. We, at True Girl and Born to Be Brave believe every home should have these books! They get our strong endorsement.

Screens are not bad, but some of what we access in them can be and too much time is also not good. Take this quiz from Arlene Pellicane to decide if your kids have had too much time on their screens.

Legally, a child cannot be on social media before their thirteenth birthday, but even after that, they may not be ready. This blog by True Girl founder Dannah Gresh outlines three questions to ask before you say "yes" to social media. Arlene Pellicane offers these additional questions for your consideration.

Glad you asked. That's something True Girl founder Dannah Gresh tried to do in early 2020. It led her to write a personal social media philosophy and policy that's helped her to make better choices. You can read about her journey here.

You could learn to make better decisions together! Go to your teen in humility and tell them your eyes have been opened to your concerns about screen time and you want to try to make better decisions. Ask them if they want to join you. Here's a quiz from Arlene Pellicane that can help you both consider if you are addicted to your screens.

If you think there's nothing wrong with being in a constant state of fight-or-flight or that depression is no big deal, then screens don't harm you at all. But if you want to make good decisions to avoid anxiety and depression, you should probably back away from your screens now and then! These articles point to the growing body of evidence that there is such a thing as too much screen time.

That's the million-dollar question, isn't it? Be patient and prayerful. Finding the right counselor can be like finding a best friend. There has to be just the right chemistry. Here are some links to get you started.
Focus on the Family offers a network referral system that could be helpful for you. Search by specialties, state, and some cities.
We recommend intensives for adult therapy or marriage counseling. Why drag out your work for years and years if you could become more whole for your entire family in a matter of a few weeks? That does not mean you won't still have healing to do, but you can jump-start it at the right Christian program. Some that we recommend include:


God will teach you and guide you, as you are faithful to seek out answers. And if you teach your child how to use tools to manage their emotions, you'll help them stay out of the danger zones of self-harm, lack of performance, and possibly even suicidal thinking. This blog outlines three tools one mom uses to help her anxious child.


As a child grows and faces new challenges, he or she will also face new fears. But when they remain too long (past the average age of experiencing such a fear) or are not developmentally appropriate, your child may need medical care or Christian counseling. This list of common developmental fears and signs that a child needs extra help is provided by Focus on the Family Canada.

No single factor is responsible, but some seem to be significant contributors. This blog by Dannah Gresh outlines what is causing the problem in girls.

We're glad you enjoyed her so much. A great place to start would be with her Parent's Rising video series. You can download the first session free at this link.

Yes. Here's a blog that summarizes the tool of "sticky feelings" to help children know if their emotions are healthy or unhealthy so they know to ask for help.

We've organized that into a blog for your convenience. Click on the links to find original sources.

A Special Workshop for Mothers & Fathers

Presented by Born to Be Brave & True Girl

Monday, May 18 • 8-9:30 pm Eastern


For 15 years we have witnessed hockey stick growth in anxiety and depression among children. The average child aged 9-17 scores as high on anxiety scales as those admitted for in-patient psychiatric treatment in the 1950's1. Though it's now considered "normal", suicide has become the second leading cause of death for fifteen to twenty-nine-year-olds.2 Between 2005 and 2014, the number of teens diagnosed with clinical depression increased 37%.3 Suicide attempts among high schoolers has increased by 25% starting in 2009. And girls aged 10-12 have attempted poisoning themselves by an increase of 268%.4 The recent pandemic has already caused a marked increase in depression and anxiety among Americans.5

This online workshop on overcoming anxiety and depression is for parents and will help them to:

  • become aware of factors that increase the risk of anxiety, depression, and suicide
  • implement risk reduction for their teens in their own homes
  • recognize when their child requires professional intervention
  • learn about a model which teaches teens skills in emotional regulation
  • be motivated that prayer is the only true solution to this epidemic

Presenters include Dannah Gresh, Donna VanLiere, Arlene Pellicane, and Dr. Jonathan Stube, a licensed professional counselor who specializes in anxiety and depression. The panel will answer questions from the audience, and a time of prayer for today’s tweens and teens will end our evening.

Please join us for a donation of any amount.

(Even if that is $0.)
register now

Presented by:


Bob and Dannah Gresh
Bob and Dannah Gresh, Founders of True Girl and Born to Be Brave

Bob and Dannah Gresh are the founders of True Girl and Born to Be Brave. They have spent twenty years teaching teens and tweens to identify lies they may be believing that contribute to unhealthy emotions. Their concern about the rapid growth in anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation in recent years has led them to research possible contributors to the increase. They will help parents recognize factors that create risk of anxiety and depression and provide practical advice to reduce the risk.

Arlene Pellicane
Arlene Pellicane, Best-selling author

Arlene Pellicane is the co-author, along with Dr. Gary Chapman, of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World. She has researched the impact of screen time extensively and can speak into the overall challenges as well as the unique impact of sheltering-at-home on screen time. She will help parents establish simple boundaries that make a huge difference.

Donna VanLiere
Donna VanLiere, New York Times Best-selling author

Donna VanLiere is the author of many books which have landed on the New York Times Bestseller list. Her most recent work, "The Time of Jacob’s Trouble", is fiction combined with in-depth biblical analysis of end-times prophecy found in the Bible. She has an incredible heart for prayer. She will offer inspiration and encouragement to pray our children through this complicated and difficult time.

Jonathan Stube
Jonathan Stube, Ph.D Licensed Professional Counselor

Dr. Jonathan Stube is a licensed professional counselor specializing in anxiety and depression. He received his doctoral degree from Penn State University and is trained in Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) which provides teens with new skills to manage emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. He will present information for parents to know when their teen needs professional help to address anxiety and depression and helpful advice on how to coach their teen in emotion management.

1Juliet Schor, Born To Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture (Scribner; New York, 2005).