Inside Anxiety is a short film written, directed, and produced by RU Student Life — the leading student-run social network at Ryerson University and largest student life brand in the country. The video features five scenarios that depict everyday experiences of anxiety and stress common to many, if not all, post-secondary students.
The project was created as a primary feature in RU Student Life’s #TakeCareRU campaign, a collaborative and campus-wide initiative that focuses on physical, mental, and community health by providing resources, programs, stories, and events.
Whether it’s being too depressed to go to class, failing to answer a professor’s discussion question due to social anxiety or struggling to balance friendships and school in ‘fear of missing out,’ mental illness affects far too many young Canadians.
Several of the students involved in the production of Inside Anxiety self-identify as having a mild to severe anxiety disorder. The story took on many iterations through the creative process, and we were intentional about noting that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution or quick fix when it comes to mental illness. While it may seem cliché to some, for many people, realizing ‘I’m not the only one who feels this way’ makes for a very impactful moment. As expressed by our viewers, recognizing their own unhealthy behaviour and thought patterns in the video’s characters was an incredibly powerful, comforting and hopeful experience.
By inviting students to think about their own anxiety and how they practice self-care, we hoped to convey a key mental health awareness message:
“No story is the same. But you’re never alone.”