Documentary on youth stress and anxiety coming to Clemmons

Published 12:10 am Thursday, August 22, 2019

By David Willard
For the Clemmons Courier

The world we live in can be an emotionally exhausting roller coaster ride at times. The stresses of everyday life are enough to challenge each of us, but when added stresses come along, as they will, it can make life hard, to say the least. Realizing this, as adults, we must learn coping and destress mechanisms that can be tough to implement into our daily lives. If this implementation is tough for adults, how much harder would it be for youth to learn to deal with those same issues of stress and anxiety? 

In fact, the issue of youth stress and anxiety is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. So much so, that The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) says that nearly 25.1% of children between the ages of 13-18 are affected by anxiety disorders. This disturbing statistic, is a focal point of a documentary called “Angst,” which will premiere in Clemmons in September.

The documentary is a 55-minute film that focuses on the issue of youth stress and anxiety. Already shown in Greensboro to an audience of 500 attendees, the film will now be shown to a Clemmons audience. This special community event is being brought to the area by CareNet Counseling and the Clemmons Community Foundation to name a few.  

Barbara A. Saulpaugh, regional executive director for the Piedmont Triad region of CareNet Counseling, is part of the team bringing the film to the area. “Anxiety is a part of the normal human condition. Low levels of anxiety help you focus and get things done. However, I have been hearing consistently from our counselors and from community partners that more and more of our youth are experiencing anxiety at a level that they cannot manage without help,” says Saulpaugh. 

The goal of the film and its two showings in Clemmons is to hopefully educate attendees on how to understand and help to identify symptoms of anxiety in youth. It also looks to help attendees analyze causes of anxiety and its sociological effects. The film will look at these issues through the eyes of teens and young people seriously affected by its effects, and work to give parents and adults tools and resources to help when they see the symptoms. 

“Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at a higher risk of performing poorly in school, missing out on important social experiences and engaging in substance abuse,” continues Saulpaugh. “These issues exist in every community. Although there is no single reason why anxiety has seemed to reach epidemic proportions, the pressures to perform in school and sports, increased digital overstimulation from social media, and news stories that can be shocking and scary to even adults have exacerbated the problem,” she adds

“It is important that as many people as possible see this film. Parents, grandparents, teachers, community members, youth leaders and students will benefit from this expertly produced documentary that outlines the problem and provides practical guidance. Knowledge helps reduce stigma about mental health struggles and sometimes stigma gets in the way of people getting help,” she concludes.

This youth “epidemic” is obviously one that needs to be taken seriously and dealt with for the sake of young people in our community and in others. “Angst” looks to do just that with help of community efforts like here in Clemmons. Residents will have two opportunities to view the film. First will be at River Oaks Community Church on Sunday, Sept. 8, from 6-8 p.m. This is a free event. Registration can be done online at http://bit.ly/AngstMovieSept8 . The second will be an educational luncheon event at the Jerry Long Family YMCA on Sept. 9 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The cost for the event will be $15 and requires pre-registration. Registration can also be done online at http://bit.ly/AngstSept9Lunch.