There may be something to your teenager's complaint of a stomach ache every morning before school: anxiety.
Close to one-third of adolescents in the United States have some kind of anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Local mental health organization Youth Service Bureau hopes a movie might open up lines of communication between young students and their parents.
The 56-minute film "Angst" will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4 at Woodbury High School and 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 at Woodbury Middle School. Additionally, there will be a 7 p.m. showing Thursday, Oct. 11 at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. A discussion panel will follow all of the showings.
The film is recommended for students in fifth through 12th grades to attend with an adult. A resource sheet will be distributed to adults. Community members of all ages are welcome. Free tickets are available online.
The film includes candid interviews with children and young adults who deal with or have dealt with anxiety and what they've learned. Several mental health experts, including an Olympic athlete, are featured.
"It's a movie that really brings hope," said Merri Guggisberg, youth and family education coordinator at the Youth Service Bureau. "There's young people that are sharing their experience, their journey. It's really encouraging to all kids, all parents. We all experience anxiety, but to what level? How do we help?"
She said some of the showings are being sponsored by an "anonymous friend" of Woodbury Senior Living.
Guggisberg hopes parents and kids will watch the film together and move them forward with a better understanding of one another. She also hopes the film and discussion encourages those who need help to seek it.