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Pastoral Care: Contemplative & Mental Health Practices for Children & Youth

hotlines, guidelines and crisis intervention contacts; and support for pastoral care for children, tweens, teens, families, differently abled persons, elders and folks with memory concerns; including mindfulness, personal care and volunteer support


Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to cultivate and nurture the spiritual and emotional well-being of young people. Here you'll find:

  • Books & Downloads to teach caregivers and engage people of all ages in mindfulness and contemplation
  • Other Book Lists from trusted sources
  • Blogs, Podcasts & Articles to spark conversation and support practices
  • Webinars & Curricula for further enrichment and expanding practices

If you don't find a resource to fit your need, don't hesitate to consult with The Ministry Lab's director, Emily Meyer, who is happy to assist you.

Books for Children

     All the Feelings Under the Sun     The Boy with Big, Big Feelings     Breathe and Be          God Made All Your Feelings     A Handful of Quiet by Thich Nhat Hanh     How to Train Your Pet Brain          Monsters Like Us          Help kids understand and manage anxiety to boost their mental health and well-being.          Cover of Something Happened in Our Park     Help young children recognize difficult feelings and learn anger management techniques.     Sometimes When I’m Sad: A sensitive story to help young children recognize and cope with sadness.          We Listen to Our Bodies: A picture book about body awareness and consent.     What Do I Do with Worry?     Picture of What Do You Say to a Dragon??     What's in Your Mind Today?     What to Do When the News Scares You          Yoga Baby     140181     

Journals/Devotionals/Activities for Children

1-Minute Gratitude Journal     All the Feelings Under the Sun               Crafting Calm: Art and Activities for Mindful Kids     Coloring Book and Reflections for Social Emotional Learning: Spanish Edition               Sitting Still Like a Frog by Eline Snel     Sitting Still Like a Frog Activity Book by Eline Snel     The Worry Workbook

Blogs, Podcasts & Articles

shared a free downloadable poster of 5 Steps to Managing Big Emotions.

Poetry Unbound: incorporate poetry into a personal or group contemplative practice, worship/liturgical element, or fodder for small group discussions among tweens, teens and/or adults.

Listen to the trailer and subscribe on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsOvercast, or wherever you listen.

The Labyrinth Society has a page of resources specifically for children.

Webinars & Curricula

Young white female looking solemn while looking out a window covered in raindrops, holding a mug

MHTTC New England offers Seasonal Affective Disorder: Responding to the Winter Blues in the Classroom online toolkit for care providers.

Preventing Marijuana Use Among Youth

Preventing Marijuana Use Among Youth

The goal of this guide is to review the literature on prevention of marijuana use among youth, distill the research into recommendations for practice, and provide examples of the ways these recommendations can be implemented.

Social Emotional Stories: Lessons and Learning from Plants and Animals     Teenage Archetype Card Deck

Quicksheets #78 Social/Emotional Health is a downloadable inventory that includes practices and activities - to share in small groups or for youth to practice on their own - to help them assess and engage with their emotional well-being.

iBme's website is informative. Retreats and courses may be life-changing.

8-week study on health and well-being via meditation and spiritual practices; online-friendly.

Includes Student GuideLeader Guide, and free guide for leading virtually.

offering free online Mindfulness Classes for Kids.

Praying with Mandalas: teaches what mandalas are; includes a free downloadable mandala; and comes as an ecourse; youth-adults.

EmpowerU is built to help teens deal with stress and anxiety, including weekly free toolkits and a semester-long curriculum.

MYCepaz is a teen guide to mental well-being and includes calming yoga videos and several links to Mindfulness and Meditation sites, along with resources and supports for emergency interventions; includes a downloadable app to take mindfulness practices for use anywhere and anytime.


University of Rochester Medical Center's Behavioral Health Partners' Melissa Nunes-Harwitt, LMSW, shares a method called Hand on Heart, to help ease a racing mind/anxiety.

Other Book Lists

Picture books about feelings.jpg     

shared 23 CHILDREN’S BOOKS ABOUT EMOTIONS FOR KIDS WITH BIG FEELINGS which is broken down by age group - toddler through young adult - along with books for parents

 offers several books for helping YOUTH deal with a range of emotions.

Books for Tweens & Teens

Blessed Youth: Breaking the Silence about Mental Health with Children and Teens          Fighting Invisible Tigers 2019     Find Your Fierce     Chapter Books to Encourage Mindfulness & Gratitude          Struggle to Be Strong 2019     Help teens make informed decisions with judgment-free information about addictive behaviors.     

Journals/Devotionals/Activities for Tweens & Teens

     Dream Up Now: The Teen Journal for Creative Self-Discovery          

Books for Parents

Breathe through This by Eline Snel     Picture of Forming Resilient Children     Picture of A Mind of Their Own     Not Quite Fine