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CHPS Partnership with Anoka County Shines the Light on Anxiety with ‘ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety’

Columbia Heights Public Schools (CHPS), in partnership with Anoka County is hosting a screening and panel discussion of the new IndieFlix documentary “ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety” 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 8 at the CHHS Performing Arts Center, 1400 49th Ave. NE, Columbia Heights.

IndieFlix is sparking a global conversation about anxiety through this new documentary. Through candid interviews, producers utilize the power of film to tell 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 a special interview with Olympic Swimmer and mental health advocate Michael Phelps and 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.

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.

"We felt it was important to make a movie that could raise awareness to open up the conversation and provide hope," said Andreen, IndieFlix CEO and “Angst” Producer. "So many people struggle with anxiety and have trouble talking about it. We want to change that."

While “Angst” documents the struggles some people have with anxiety, it also reveals their hope for the future. “Anxiety doesn’t define me. It’s not just a curse; it also gives me strength,” said Noah, a teenager featured in the film.

"The conversation surrounding mental health really hits home for me,” said 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."

"Increasing our understanding of anxiety disorders and their impact on school functioning is of vital importance,” said CHPS Education Support Coordinator Marcia Walker.” Anxiety can impact attendance, learning, social interactions and overall physical health. Kids can and do worry themselves sick."

Professional, parents and youth ages 11 and older are encouraged to attend. Spanish subtitles will be available during the viewing. Pizza will be provided. Childcare is available for children ages 3-10 (space is limited, so registration is required).

To RSVP for the screening, contact Barb Erickson at 763.528.4414 or EricksoB@colheights.k12.mn.us. Para registrarse comuníquese con Shirley Bartlett al 763.528.4302 o BartletS@colheights.k12.mn.us.