HOUSTON - Even before the COVID-19 pandemic begin, anxiety was high among young people, and now experts warn, it's at an all-time high.
To give you an idea of just how big the problem was before the pandemic, 4.4 million children between the ages of 3 and 17 were diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in the U.S. Add to that: school is unexpectedly out, extracurricular activities are canceled, and most children can't see their friends, so more of them are likely experiencing isolation, anxiety, and concern about their future.
Since this is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week, The Hackett Center for Mental Health and the organization Okay to Say is rolling out a new tool that is meant to help parents reach out to their children to spark an important conversation.
It's through an interesting film called "Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety", and the first 1,000 people to sign up in Houston can watch it for free!
"I'm really excited that the Hackett Center for Mental Heath and Okay to Say brought the film 'Angst' to Houston and made it available for 1,000 families to watch free this week," says Karin Gornick, the Executive Producer of the film. "The film is created to understand the signs and symptoms of anxiety. It's full of very specific tools to help deal with your anxiety symptoms or before something becomes paralyzing in your everyday life. There are lots of teens talking in the film, and parents and teens find it therapeutic when they can talk together afterwards."
"That was important for us! There is a discussion guide to go along with this. Families can talk together. In addition to interviews, we also have a special guest appearance from Michael Phelps, one of the best known Olympians of all time, and he talks about his own experience with anxiety and depression and it resonates with our tweens and teens," explains Dr. Gary Blau, the Executive Director of the Hackett Center for Mental Health.
Again, it's free for the first 1,000 people to sign up in Houston, but as for those who sign up after that?
"There's a really reduced rate ($4.00), so everyone will have access to it between now and May 10. Again, it's not just a film, but a dashboard full of resources, like Dr. Blau says with discussion guides, an interview with a licensed therapist who has specific tools to deal with increased stress," encourages Karin.
They want you to know that individuals or businesses can also purchase a large amount of film views for a reasonable price and donate them to others.
To get more details and to register, visit www.showclix.com/event/AngstHouston
For more information about Okay to Say, visit https://www.okaytosay.org/