Raising Awareness About Anxiety In Teens

Student meditates while gazing onto a tumultuous ocean landscapeAnxiety disorders among teens and young adults are currently on the rise.

Studies show that twenty-five percent of 13 to 18-year-olds have been diagnosed with mild to moderate anxiety—and many more remain undiagnosed. 

Anxiety in teens often overlaps with depression.

Student Poll on Negative ThinkingWhile there are many causes of anxiety—including childhood trauma, environmental pressures, and social conflicts—students with learning differences such as ADHD and dyslexia are exceptionally vulnerable to anxiety due to repeated school failure. Ninety percent of students surveyed said that they suffered from negative, anxious thinking patterns. We set out to do something about this issue.

After a successful fundraising effort, Bayhill was able to host private screenings of the documentary film Angst for our students and the larger Bayhill community.

This powerful documentary shines a light on several teenagers—and their families—who suffer from anxiety. As they share its impact on their lives and relationships, they also reveal how they’ve found solutions and hope. 

In addition, the documentary provides discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety in teens. They address sociological effects, along with the help, resources, and tools available to address this epidemic.

After each screening we held round table discussion groups lead by our faculty and therapists. Our goal is to invite our students and their families to open up about their own experiences with anxiety. We all shared about how anxiety affects our lives, and what we can do to manage it

Happy Student In The Park

Administrator Donna Austin had this to say about the experience: 

“We had about 50 parents turn out to see the film. All of our students were able to watch it as well. Everyone was engaged. Some people cried. Anxiety clearly has touched us all. We received so many gracious comments about the screening and this platform for discussing the topic of anxiety disorders among teens with the students. I think it’s important to address social-emotional learning with the students as much as possible…” 

“Education is more than academics, every student has a social-emotional side that is equally important to their development.”

Coping with Anxiety in Teens - You're Not AloneAfter the screenings and discussion groups, we surveyed our students through social media. We asked what their biggest take-away was from the film Angst and the follow-up discussions.

The responses poured in. Overwhelmingly, our students reported that anxiety in teens was a major issue. The most common reply was, “I’m not alone.”

Stay tuned for more community building projects. At Bayhill High School, we constantly venture to address “the whole child” with new modalities of social-emotional and academic learning. Help us do more by giving

Student response: "People are here for me."

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