Local high school students attend movie and panel discussion about mental health needs

Tue, 05/24/2022 - 9:15am

    The Lincoln County Youth Behavioral Health Alliance teamed up with the Lincoln Theater and three area high schools to bring a special free film showing of “Dear Evan Hansen” to Damariscotta on Wednesday, May 18. The Alliance, led by LincolnHealth, brings school and community leaders together to help assess behavioral health needs of youth throughout the county, identify treatment gaps, provide link to available resources and to maintain an ongoing connection to the local health system.

    “Dear Evan Hansen” is a Tony Award winning Broadway musical that has been adapted to film about an anxious, isolated high-school student who’s aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social media age. He soon embarks on a journey of self-discovery when a letter he wrote for a school assignment falls into the hands of a grieving couple whose son took his own life.

    Boothbay Region High School, Lincoln Academy and Medomak Valley High School sent students and staff to the show, which was followed by a panel discussion to share local and state resources available to students who may be struggling with mental health challenges or know someone who is. The message they shared was that it was “Okay to reach out for help and support.”

    “People can hide;” “It can be hard to ask for help;” “Everyone struggles differently with mental health,” and “You are never alone, even when you feel like you are,” were just a few of the comments shared by students when they evaluated the discussion.

    Approximately 75 students attended the event and the Coulombe Center for Health Improvement provided fruit and pizza from Oysterhead Pizza in Damariscotta. The Lincoln Theater also showed the film in the evening to anyone who cared to attend at no charge.