Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. and they are currently at an all-time high in teenagers. One teen in Austin is making a difference by shedding some light on how common this is in young teens and is being proactive to bring comfort and relief to some of these teens.
Zoe Montez, an 11th grader at McNeil High School, was admitted to St. David’s Children’s Hospital for what she thought was a heart attack. After being admitted she learned that what she was experiencing was actually a panic attack. Montez talks about her experience, “I was at school and I just got this overwhelming feeling.” Instead of going with anti-depressants Montez is managing her anxiety through therapy, exercise, and other natural remedies. Using essential oils and practicing Yoga with her mom are among the positive things she has incorporated into her life to ease anxiety.
When Montez realized she wasn’t the only one who suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, she wanted to spread awareness that no one is alone when it comes to having these anxiety and panic attacks. She said, “once I started to figure out other people had the same issues as me, it made me feel a lot better.” She came up with the idea to provide “anxiety care kits” for the young patients. Child life specialist Robin Moyer says the kits help calm the kids. She stated that, “the hospital for most people is a foreign place, they kind of don’t know what’s happening, it’s super stressful.”
There are plenty of children who are anxious and overwhelmed in this environment. With the help from former patients that are on the Youth Advisory Council, Montez is bringing these anxiety care kits to these children. Each kit is different and unique from the next. Items in the kits include nail polish, candy, fuzzy socks, stress ball, gel pen, stuffed animals, and much more. Every kit has physical items that focus on decreasing stress and adding comfort to the child’s stay in the hospital.
As statistics show a growth in anxiety disorders it is important to raise awareness and help young ones learn natural remedies and stress relievers at a young age.
To learn more about these anxiety care kits and or to learn more about others making a difference in the city of Austin, click here!
Source: CBS Austin