Angst, a documentary
On Sunday, Jan. 26, St. Paul will offer two showings of Angst, a documentary designed to raise awareness around anxiety. The film includes interviews with kids, teens, educators, experts, parents, and Olympian Michael Phelps.
The goal specifically is to help people identify and understand the symptoms of anxiety and encourage them to reach out for help. Angst screens in schools, communities and theaters around the world. The film and corresponding materials provide tools, resources and above all, hope.
Screenings will be held at 10:20 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel. Both are free and open to the public.
With this documentary, producers Scilla Andreen and Karin Gornick had one goal: to start a 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 an interview with 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.
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 Jerry Bubrick, senior director of the 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 Scilla Andreen, 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 Olympian 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.”