Atrium Screens Angst Film for Middle School
On February 28, Atrium screened the movie Angst for Middle Schoolers and their parents. Through candid interviews, Angst tells the stories of many kids and teens who discuss their anxiety and its effects on their lives and relationships, as well as how they’ve found solutions and hope.
Hosted by Lara Buchanan, our school counselor, the film screening had a remarkable turnout, with two-thirds of the Middle School coming to view the movie and participate in a follow-up discussion about anxiety with families and faculty.
"After working with children for many years, we have noticed that students are talking more and more about feeling overwhelmed and anxious," Lara said. "We thought by viewing the movie as a community, we could increase awareness about anxiety. We also hoped that students and families would take comfort in understanding that they’re not alone in struggling with anxiety."
In addition to the children's stories, the documentary provides 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.
"We broke into small groups for discussion after the film, and it was difficult to get people to stop talking! The film seemed to resonate for people and brought up a lot of ideas and feelings," Lara said.
In addition to the student screening, faculty and staff watched Angst. The night of the film, Middle School teachers didn't assign homework, instead encouraging students to attend the movie. Lara explained, "The culture of Atrium is an accepting one where teachers recognize the importance of building meaningful connections with each student. Students feel this. So, they are comfortable participating in events like this one and talking with adults and other students alike."
As anxiety continues to rise for children and adolescents, it becomes a universal issue for students and families. Lara said, "Students, families, and faculty at Atrium are seeking a better understanding of anxiety and what we can all do as a community to understand it and manage it better. I hope Atrium can play a part in helping set students up for happier and more successful lives."