As a former Wake County public school teacher, Youth Director at FUMC-Cary and parent of a daughter who has struggled with mental illness, I have seen first-hand the impact of anxiety on our youth. The statistics are alarming: Nearly one in three adolescents ages 13 to 18 now meets the criteria for an anxiety disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 32 percent of teens report persistent feelings of sadness or helplessness.
To give teenagers skills to navigate their mental health journeys and to offer adults tools for helping, two Triangle advocacy groups are joining to sponsor #TeenAnxiety: A Youth Mental Health Summit at Christ United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill on Saturday, October 6.
Stand by Me NC and Faith Connections on Mental Illness will present the event for youth in grades sixth through 12th with a separate track for adults. Registration is limited to 100 teens and 40 adults.
Facilitated small group discussions will follow a showing of the Indieflix documentary, “Angst: Raising Awareness About Anxiety.” Breakout sessions later will include presentations relating to high school and college transitions and “the anxious brain” for both youth and adults, coping strategies and themed discussions for youth and Cardinal Innovations’ “Stigma Training” for adults.
The closing session will feature music by Brooke Hatala, a local teen artist and former contestant on “The Voice.”
“Angst” is a 56-minute film that explores anxiety, its causes, its effects and what we can do about it. The filmmakers’ goal is to have a global conversation and raise awareness around anxiety. “Angst” features candid interviews with kids and young adults who suffer, or have suffered, from anxiety and what they’ve learned about it. The film includes discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety and its sociological effects, as well as help, resources, and tools.
Will you help me share this information with the youth pastors and leaders in our conference? I have witnessed the youth empowerment that comes from participation in events such as Pilgrimage, ACS, Breakaway and Global Vision. I would love to see youth representation from our local churches attend this summit as means of equipping them to go back to their local youth ministries with tools to confront the stigma associated with mental illness and as ambassadors for creating safe spaces to discuss feelings such as anxiety. Please let me know what else you need from me in order to get the word out.
All my best,
Stand By Me NC
Stand By Me NC
Click here [2018 Youth Mental Health Summit] for information about the summit and how to register. Space is limited.