Documentary about teen anxiety shared with community


Jenna Christenson

Students and parents watch ‘Angst,’ a documentary about anxiety, during a screening held in the Engler Center last week.

Jenna Christenson

Documentary about teen anxiety shared with community

By Jenna Christenson

The school district hosted a screening of “Angst,” directed by Matt Skerritt, in the Engler Center for the Performing Arts on February 21. The event provided attendees with a dinner of pizza in the commons before the film was shown as well as a group discussion after.

The 56minute film highlights the causes of anxiety and how teenagers can cope with it.

The film shows interviews with multiple teens from various backgrounds in which they describe their experiences with anxiety. They explain that feelings of anxiety often stem from the pressure of school work, earning good grades and college decisions.

Multiple mental health experts are interviewed throughout the film as well, all sharing similar statements regarding high rates of anxiety and depression in teens today.

The film also brings in Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps to speak about his experience with anxiety and depression.

CHS school counselor Mrs. Rebecca Knepfel said, “The film was chosen because the district-wide AMHE (Allies in Mental Health Education) team believed it to be most fitting to the student population.”

The film was shown with the goal of allowing community members to become more knowledgeable about anxiety and in what ways it relates to teenagers in the Chilton community.

Mrs. Knepfel said, “Being the school counselor, I speak with anxious students on a daily basis. Everyone is going through something, whether it’s related to school life or home life. Everyone.”

The AMHE team hopes that after viewing the film, students facing problems with anxiety will realize that they are not alone and that students who do not experience anxiety can be more understanding of those who do, according to Mrs. Knepfel.

The turnout for the event included various students from the district along with parents.

School Psychologist Mrs. Cathi Knaus, while opening the screening, said that the overall theme of the film “aims to remove the stigma and open up the conversation about mental health, helping our youth and their families understand a certain amount of anxiety is healthy and when to recognize when it’s too much.”

Rights to two films, including “Angst,were purchased by AMHE using funds awarded to the district through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction School-Based Mental Health Services Grant. The AMHE team has plans to show the second film this fall.