On Tuesday evening, October 16, Yeshivat Noam opened its doors to the community for a screening of the IndieFlix documentary film “Angst: Raising Awareness about Anxiety.” Over 300 parents and community members filled the school’s beit midrash to begin a much-needed conversation about anxiety disorders, which are increasingly prevalent in young people. In a community in which mental health concerns are still poorly understood and often stigmatized, the evening was groundbreaking and helped the many attendees realize how prevalent anxiety is among children and teens, and how similar the experiences of their loved ones are to those of many others.
Following the movie, a panel of mental health experts continued the conversation, leading the crowd in a fascinating question-and-answer session: Rebecca Eliason, head of school at Barnstable Academy, behavior analyst Michelle Goodman and Dr. Steven Korner, a renowned psychologist who is the coordinator of Special education in Harrington Park School District. Their insight and expert advice was eye-opening and extremely informative. Parents expressed concern for their own children’s anxious behavior and asked for practical advice and insight on how to respond to children with varying types of anxiety. After the question/answer session concluded, lines formed as participants continued the conversation with the panel experts.
One participant commented, “Attending the Angst screening was a revelation. To see how many parents from our community attended this event demonstrates that anxiety is a condition affecting so many of our kids, and it’s so important for parents and our schools to understand what’s going on so they can help these vulnerable young people. Giving parents and children the skills to recognize and manage anxiety can be transformative.”
To learn more about this important documentary, or to seek help for a loved one with anxiety visit Angstmovie.com
By Mindy Warshawsky and By Mindy Warshawsky and Dr. Talia Marmon, parent volunteers