Although anxiety is common among all age groups and genders, teenage girls struggle with anxiety more than any other group. The National Institute of Mental Health (2020 study) found 38% of adolescent girls are managing anxiety disorders. In addition, the Surgeon General reported that research in early 2021 revealed that emergency department visits in the United States for suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher for adolescent girls and 4% higher for adolescent boys compared to the same period in early 2019.
Professionals connect these statistics to children watching the stressors their parents may be experiencing. Teenage girls have the additional stress of more prevalent negative experiences online, such as being bullied, finding harmful information, and negatively comparing themselves to others. Through a grant from the Women & Girls Fund, For All Seasons hopes to convene multiple generations of women in a campaign, “Anxiety – Let’s Talk About It,” to provide education about this important topic.
On February 10 at 7 p.m., the agency will host a FREE lecture through FaceBook live stream and limited in-person seating at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD about the anxiety challenge teen girls face. For All Seasons’ CEO, Beth Anne Langrell, and Chief Clinical Officer, Lesa Lee, will present the ways we can support adolescent girls on their journey to wellness. With knowledge and strategies, young women can gain the tools they need not just to survive, but to thrive.
For All Seasons also has released tools for the following key messages, including downloadable materials from the Center for Learning and video content. The campaign’s five key messages can help teenage girls manage their anxiety on their journey to feeling stronger and better than ever.
- When Anxiety appears – ask yourself WHY? Recognizing when anxiety appears and understanding why it happens can help you stay in control of overwhelming feelings.
- I am not my anxiety. It’s important to recognize your anxiety as the feelings you experience, not who you are.
- Mindfulness helps to reduce anxiety. Pause and take a few slow breaths. Practice being present and grounded in the moment.
- Social Media can stir up anxiety. Consider how social media makes you feel. Ask yourself – How does this impact my life?
- Self-care is not selfish. Find time for the activities that make you calm and happy.
According to the Surgeon General, signs of distress in children can show up in many ways, such as irritability, anger, withdrawal, and other changes in their thoughts, appearance, performance at school, sleeping or eating patterns, or other behaviors.
In the American Psychological Association’s bi-weekly podcast, “Speaking of Psychology,” Dr. Lisa Damour, a clinical psychologist, executive director of Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls, and author of “Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls,” recently shared that the causes of the stress and anxiety are not totally the same for boys and girls. Damour said, “There’s certainly a great degree of overlap, but there are also some very unique stressors to being a boy in our culture and being a girl in our culture . . . the other thing we know is that when girls are in distress, they tend to internalize. When boys are in distress, they tend to externalize.” To read the full article, visit https://www.apa.org/research/action/speaking-of-psychology/anxiety-teen-girls.
“We are encouraging parents if they notice consistent or ongoing changes in their child, to let them know they are there to support them. This includes engaging professionals, such as For All Seasons, or finding other available resources to help them. Leaving anxiety untreated could lead to worsening symptoms,” comments Lesa Lee, Chief Clinical Officer at For All Seasons.
This presentation is presented to the community free of charge through a grant from the Women & Girls Fund. To register for For All Seasons’ Anxiety – Let’s talk About It lecture on February 10, 2022, visit https://anxietyletstalk.eventbrite.com. As a part of this campaign, For All Seasons has created a website with free resources and downloadable tools to help young women gain the strategies they need. Community members can access these materials at www.anxiety-letstalkaboutit.org. Register at https://anxietyletstalk.eventbrite.com.
Please note – the Avalon Foundation requires each ticket holder to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (your completed COVID-19 vaccination card, copy of your card, or official digital card), OR a negative COVID PCR test within 72 hours of this performance, and a corresponding photo ID, along with a valid ticket, in order to gain access to the theatre.
For All Seasons provides the highest quality mental health and victim services to children, adults, and families across the Mid-Shore. Services are offered in both English and Spanish and include therapy, psychiatry, victim advocacy, 24-hour crisis hotlines, outreach, and community education. For further information, contact For All Seasons at 410-822-1018 or visit forallseasonsinc.org.