April 25, 2019

Important Documentary on Anxiety in Kids to be Screened; Includes Interview with Olympian Michael Phelps

An interview with Michael Phelps is featured in ‘Angst,’ which will be shown at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School tomorrow evening. Admission is free and the public is welcome.

Lyme’s Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) is sparking a community conversation about anxiety through a screening of a brand-new documentary, Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety.  On Tuesday, April 9, at 6:30 p.m., LYSB will host a special screening of the documentary at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium to open up a dialogue between local families, community leaders and experts.

The event will feature a viewing of the 56-minute film, followed by an informative panel discussion.

Indieflix producers Scilla Andreen and Karin Gornick have one goal: to start a global conversation and raise awareness around anxiety. Through candid interviews, they utilize the power of film to tell the stories of many kids and teens who discuss their anxiety and its impacts on their lives and relationships, as well as how they’ve found solutions and hope.

The film also includes a special interview with Olympian Michael Phelps, a mental health advocate and one of the greatest athletes of all-time.

In addition, the documentary provides discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety and its sociological effects, along with the help, resources and tools available to address the condition.

Part of the beauty of this film is the openness of the children and young adults featured; for some of them, the Angst project marks the first time they are publicly sharing their experiences with anxiety. Our hope is that their candidness and bravery will inspire our community to do the same.

While Angst documents the struggles some people have with anxiety, it also reveals their hope for the future. Noah, a teenager in the film, describes it this way: “Anxiety doesn’t define me. It’s not just a curse; it also gives me strength.”

“Everybody needs to know that anxiety disorders are real, common and treatable instead of viewing them as a personal choice or something to be ashamed of,” said Dr. Jerry Bubrick, Senior Director of Anxiety Disorders Center, Child Mind Institute. “Getting help early is crucial in giving people the tools they need to feel better. We just need to start the conversation.”

“We felt it was important to make a movie that could raise awareness to open up the conversation and provide hope,” said Andreen, IndieFlix CEO and Angst Producer. “So many people struggle with anxiety and have trouble talking about it. We want to change that.”

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge in the U.S., impacting 54 percent of females and 46 percent of males, with age seven being the median age of onset, according to the World Health Organization. While anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only one-third of those suffering receive treatment. Everyone involved in the development of Angst has a personal experience with anxiety – from the producers to the interviewees.

“The conversation surrounding mental health really hits home for me,” said Michael Phelps. “Many people don’t understand how debilitating mental illness truly can be, and even more than that, how common it is, yet people are afraid to have the serious discussions about it. I welcomed the opportunity to be a part of Angst to further the dialogue around mental health and to help people understand the impact anxiety has on our mental state and encourage people, especially kids, to ask for help.”

Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau Director Mary Seidner commented, “We have seen a steady increase in the number of inquiries from parents whose children are experiencing issues with anxiety.  We hope the Angst documentary will open a discussion in our community and give parents tools to help their children manage anxiety.”  In addition to the community screening on April 9, LYSB is sponsoring a screening during the school day for Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School on April 11 as part of the school’s Wellness Day.

 Angst can be viewed in screenings held in schools and communities and is not available online.  This program is free and open to the public, and sponsored by LYSB’s Timothy P. Buckley Memorial Fund.

For more information contact Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau at 860-434-7208 or www.lysb.org

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