Nearly forty charter members and dedicated supporters of the Texas State of Mind Society gathered at David and Libby Hunt’s Dallas home in March to hear Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute leadership discuss rising levels of anxiety disorders, and various ways to seek help.
Featured Meadows Institute speakers included President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Keller, Ph.D., and Chief Medical Officer Roshni Koli, M.D. They shared insights about anxiety symptoms and discussed available treatments, particularly those designed to assist children and youth. Half of all anxiety disorders appear by age 11, but certain types of anxiety disorders can develop much younger, as early as preschool age.
Anxiety disorders, as Dr. Koli explained, differ from normal feelings of nervousness or worry and involve excessive fear or disquiet. Disorders manifest with emotional and other physical symptoms that adversely affect an individual’s ability to function at school, at home, or in social settings.
Dr. Keller shared his personal experience with anxiety, which affected him throughout childhood, and how he continues to employ the skills he learned in his youth to cope with anxious moments as an adult.
Despite mounting levels of anxiety, and the unfortunate reality that many are suffering alone and untreated, there is hope. Dr. Koli reminded the group that anxiety is a normal reaction to stress, and that it can even be beneficial in some situations. Drs. Keller and Koli highlighted some of the currently available treatment options that can help most people coping with anxiety lead normal, productive lives. They also provided informational handouts with an overview of anxiety disorders and detailed ways parents and caregivers can emotionally manage anxiety during COVID-19. The handouts are available to download here.
The Society’s membership comprises 142 informed civic leaders who are dedicated to improving mental health care through their support of the Meadows Institute, a nonpartisan and data-driven organization creating lasting positive change to mental health systems across Texas and the nation.
These generous member contributions ensure the continuation of the Meadows Institute’s important work that affects millions of Texans’ lives each year. Over the past two years, the Society’s charter members have donated nearly $400,000 toward the Meadows Institute’s mission.