Had I seen this film years ago, my middle school journey would have been so much different." This was the sentiment spoken by one ICS junior, but shared by many of her peers, after Tuesday's sixth through twelfth grade screening of the film 'Angst.'
This Tuesday, March 26, Indian Creek sixth through twelfth grade students came together to view Angst, a film created to raise awareness around teen anxiety, presented by the ICS PTO in collaboration with the Counseling Department. After the screening, a panel of students held a Q&A session and reflected on the experience of watching the movie together. The students discussed the fact that stress is something we all suffer from in varying degrees. They shared that while many of them struggle with anxiety, they never knew what it was or how to deal with it. ICS Junior Reese Fortier shared that because she had learned from the film a year ago, “I am a different person in high school because of my new awareness and coping mechanisms.”
Over 77 Indian Creek parents also took advantage of the opportunity to view this award-winning film with their children at a PTO Family Education Session on Thursday, March 28. Following the screening, the parents were able to ask questions about stress, anxiety, and parenting in general, from a panel of adolescent psychology experts: Dr. Laurie Perlis, Ms. Kasey Quinn LGPC, and Dr. Bradley Beam. Many parents came away from the panel with a renewed sense of confidence in their instincts, and comfort about the strong, supportive, research-based community in which we are raising our children.
The audience – which represented parents of children of a wide variety of ages – asked great questions, spanning from how to help children in the midst of a panic attack [handle the emergency first, then debrief on what worked later], to how much technology/social media is recommended by psychologists [a moderate amount, as it is an important way in which teens communicate with each other, as long as it is supervised by parents.] Parents learned that is important to model healthy ways to deal with anxiety. It can also be helpful to share their own experiences, and share the ways they have dealt with stress that worked and also those ways which were not so successful.
Parents and students both came away from these sessions with a stronger understanding of what anxiety is [an emotion characterized by feelings of worry, fear, nervousness, and apprehension], when it becomes a problem [when it disrupts your day to day life and prevents you from doing things you used to enjoy], different types of anxiety disorders, and several tips for managing anxiety and also for supporting children with anxiety. These tips include strategies to distract oneself from the situation, thinking logically, practicing difficult situations, and talking to supportive friends and/or adults. More information about anxiety can be found at this link.
Indian Creek School would like to thank junior Reese Fortier for her determination in bringing Angst to our school. We also thank the PTO Parent Education Committee, especially Committee Chair Suzanne Johnson and member Lynann Derrick for their diligent work in providing this opportunity for our families. Thank you as well to the ICS Counseling Team: Dotti Lang, Christina Bachenberg, and Lourdes Billingsley, our adolescent psychology experts: Dr. Laurie Perlis, Ms. Kasey Quinn LGPC, and Dr. Bradley Beam, our student panelists Lena Warner ’20, Maeve Drury ‘19, Lillie Johnson ’23, Tyler Kerr ’23, Milli Rosa ’23, and Ashley Piper ’19.