CAPITAL REGION (WRGB) — May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and a new documentary is taking an in-depth look at anxiety and the serious impact it's having on kids and their parents.
The tagline for Anxious Nation certainly gets your attention: "Our Kids are in Crisis."
The mental health problem impacting students is something CBS 6 has reported on for years, and this film aims to bring the issue even more attention.
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Laura Morton is Co-Director, Producer and Writer of Anxious Nation. An author of more than 60 books and 21 New York Times Best Sellers, Morton lived in Saratoga Springs for years.
She says her daughter Sevey, who attends school here in the Capital Region, inspired her to tackle the anxiety crisis in kids. Morton says she felt like she was failing her daughter, who has been struggling with anxiety for years.
Anxious Nation profiles 11 kids including Sevey, who were followed for four years. Morton says she wanted to make sure the film shows how anxiety impacts kids from all backgrounds:
There's neurodiversity, which is [how] anxiety shows up. There's cultural diversity because there are so many communities that still have so much shame and stigma... We have to take action and what I hope that Anxious Nation does for families is that it starts that conversation and that it inspires taking action in your own home and it educates, Morton tells CBS 6.
The latest CDC data shows 57% of teen girls in the U.S. felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021. Its a 60% increase, the highest level over the last decade, and double that of boys.
Anxious Nation hit select theaters earlier this month. It's also available on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play.
On Thursday, CBS 6 will take a closer look at Anxious Nation, and hear more from Laura Morton about the impact of the pandemic and social media, and what parents and families can do to help their kids manage their anxiety and lead happier lives in and out of the classroom.
Crisis in the Classroom is a weekly segment in which CBS 6 investigates issues faced by educators, students, and families. Send any tips to our team by emailing or by calling (518) 288-6034.