Producer/Writer Shukree Tilghman Joins the BeMeBeFree Back to School Anxiety Empowerment Campaign

by September 10, 2018

Shukree Tilghman, producer and writer for This Is Us

Chicago, IL — According to The National Institute of Mental Health, 38% of teen girls and 26% of teen boys have anxiety disorders, yet data shows that 40% of students with mental health concerns never seek help.

Launching September 5, the BeMeBeFree Campaign encourages youth to share their personal anxiety stories through creative expression – a written essay, poem, video or song. A team of mental health professionals led by teen anxiety expert Carolyn Costin will then select one story that will inspire a Lifetime Original Movie to premiere in 2019.

BeMeBeFree is a campaign to raise public awareness about the urgent challenges teens and young adults are facing with anxiety, while also providing a safe platform to allow teens to do what they love to do best, which is building and belonging to a community.

BMBF provides teens with the opportunity to “belong,” through the process of sharing their personal stories of dealing with anxiety.

From September 5 to October 5, 2018, anyone ages 12-24 is invited to submit their anxiety stories to the BeMeBeFree website (www.BeMeBeFree.org). The site also provides easy ways to connect with critical resources to address anxiety effectively.

“Companies certainly have a duty to be socially responsible. But more importantly, people do. And people make up companies. People have a responsibility to be good to each other, both in the micro and macro sense. It really is that simple,” said Shukree Tilghman, a producer/writer of the hit NBC Show This Is Us. “Being able to help tell the stories that are entertaining and socially relevant are always important to me. And stories that reflect the lives of young people, the people who’ll make decisions about our society in the near future, have a particular resonance. Shedding light on mental health is an important endeavor that I hope will touch many corners of our society.”

“Anxiety has become a national epidemic, and teens are feeling pressures like no other generation before,” added Darryl Roberts, creator of the BeMeBeFree Campaign. “We created BeMeBeFree to give young people a platform to reach out, share their authentic stories, and find a community of people who are going through similar experiences so they don’t feel so alone.”

Mr. Roberts, filmmaker/social activist, directed the successful teen empowerment documentary series America the Beautiful, and also originated the largest annual high school bully prevention program in America (20,000 high schools) on behalf of Abercrombie & Fitch, will serve as a Producer of the BeMeBeFree movie and Shukree Tilghman will serve as an Executive Producer.

“With little down time, less sleep and constant social media vigilance, our modern technology, cultural pressures and instant image access, create an anxious suffering in our youth in ways we are only beginning to fully understand,” said Carolyn Costin, anxiety therapist and BMBF lead panel judge. “With symptoms ranging from nervous tension and a racing heart to full on panic attacks, young people are seeking treatment for anxiety in increasing numbers. In my forty years as a therapist anxiety has been the most common ailment I’ve treated, even when the presenting issue was something else.”

BeMeBeFree will collaborate with 20,000 high schools, 3,000 universities and over 800 mental health organizations to build awareness around the campaign and to create a positive shift in societal stigma around anxiety and mental illness.

Join the BeMeBeFree community on InstagramFacebook and Twitter and use the hashtag #BeMeBeFree.

 

About the BeMeBeFree Campaign
Launched in 2018, BeMeBeFree is a campaign to raise public awareness about the anxiety that teens and young adults face today. The campaign’s goal is to improve the culture of mental health in America and connect youth to the critical resources they need to address and overcome anxiety effectively. For more information, visit www.bemebefree.org.

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