×

Vera Wang Helps Design Solutions for Young People With Anxiety

Vera Wang is one of Variety’s Power of Women New York honorees. For profiles on other honorees, click here.

Anyone who thinks raising children is easy hasn’t raised children. “I would confide in my girlfriends,” Vera Wang says of her most challenging moments as the mother of two daughters, now young adults. “I realized that there was no place to go to understand what was happening.”

The designer notes a “tsunami” of stimuli swirling around young people today, from family dynamics to “what’s going on culturally — the hookups, the Tinder thing,” as well as the obsessive pressure to hyper-achieve in school, at sports and in countless other pursuits. Wang came to view anxiety as an almost standard component of young people’s lives, “a pandemic.”

Simultaneously, a few years ago, she was in search of a philanthropic opportunity. She’d known noted psychiatrist David Shaffer for years. At the suggestion of Shaffer’s ex-wife, Anna Wintour, the two got together to discuss the lack of resources addressing anxiety among the young. One thing led to another, and the New York-Presbyterian Youth Anxiety Center was established in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia College of Physicians and
Surgeons. The center focuses on anxiety disorders in people aged 16 to 28, specifically as they transition into adulthood, with a three-fold approach to addressing the problem: treatment, research and education.

“We treat the anxiety,” says John Walkup, co-program director. “We also create programs to help these kids learn how to live again, how to cope and make up for the difficulties that they’ve accumulated since childhood.”

“We’re finding ways to help kids deal with it earlier on,” Wang notes, “to give them the tools to avoid what could become extreme behavior.”

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven

    Department of Justice Backs Led Zeppelin in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Case

    The U.S. Department of Justice has weighed in on the next big music copyright case on the horizon following the Katy Perry “Dark Horse” decision, and taken Led Zeppelin’s side in the long-running copyright dispute that pits the writers of the group’s anthem “Stairway to Heaven” against the publishers of the earlier song “Taurus” by [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Prosecutors Make Last-Minute Move to Bolster Case

    The Manhattan D.A.’s office is making a last-minute bid to strengthen its case against Harvey Weinstein, who is set to be tried next month on charges of rape and sexual assault. Prosecutors notified the court on Tuesday that they will seek a new indictment. The D.A.’s office wants jurors to hear from Annabella Sciorra, the [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    Jeffrey Epstein's Autopsy Rules That He Died by Suicide

    Jeffrey Epstein’s death earlier this month has been ruled a suicide by hanging. The New York Times reported on Friday that the city’s medical examiner has officially made the ruling six days after Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. According to the Times, which cites a [...]

  • America Ferrera Eva Longoria

    America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and More Sign Letter to Latinx Community: 'We Will Not Be Broken'

    America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and more have signed a letter published in several media outlets on Friday standing in solidarity with the Latinx community. In response to the heightened tension surrounding President Trump’s immigration agenda, the El Paso shooting that targeted Latinx people and the ICE raids in Mississippi, the letter addresses the language used [...]

  • Research Firm Screen Engine/ASI Acquires TicktBox

    Screen Engine/ASI Acquires TicktBox, an Entertainment Marketing and Ticketing Startup

    Screen Engine/ASI, a market research firm that specializes in focus-group testing of movies and TV pilots, has acquired ticktBox, which operates a digital marketing and ticketing platform used by movie distributors, exhibitors, and TV networks. Terms of the deal, which closed Aug. 9, weren’t disclosed. With ticktBox, SE/ASI will have one of the largest databases of [...]

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST

    Eric Reid, Jemele Hill – and Colin Kaepernick? - Take Jay-Z to Task Over NFL Partnership

    When news of the presumably lucrative entertainment and social-justice deal between Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and the NFL leaked on Tuesday, initially there was a surprising lack of public reaction or outcry. But after a press conference where Jay and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell officially announced the deal at Roc Nation’s New York offices yesterday — [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content