Tools for Triumph over Anxiety & Depression

Connect | Relate | Recover


One in four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24
has a diagnosable mental illness, and the number is growing.

ESCAPE from Dark Places

Guideposts to Hope in an Age of Anxiety & Depression

Escape from Dark Places is a motivating story of a mother-and-son journey to triumph over anxiety and depression, answering questions such as, How big is the problem? Why is the number of those suffering trending upward? And how can we stop the stigma? The author draws on history, psychology, science, theology, and philosophy to construct a solution and looks at generational theory for ways to bridge the abyss that separates boomers and millennials. The book provides practical guidelines for engaging young people and their parents, grandparents, mentors, and church leaders in effective intergenerational dialogue, a practice that will inspire societal and spiritual reconnects, fight indifference, create significance, stop the stigma—and spread hope.

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Ambra Watkins

Ambra is a boomer mom intrigued by the promising yet perplexing millennial twentysomethings and their successors, the Generation Z teens. In her latest book, Escape from Dark Places, Ambra shares her mother-and-son story of triumph over anxiety and depression. Like many mothers, Ambra fell victim to the idea that moms are part of the growing problem, not the solution, but she soon discovered "it does not have to be that way.” Her book empowers moms and others often sidelined from the recovery process to help young people manage their mental health disorders and thrive.

With an MA in English, a project management professional (PMP) certification, and fifteen years of experience building expertise in change management, communication, and training both in the US and abroad, Ambra embarked on her journey of discovery through writing...

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"A riveting, revealing, and relevant approach to unlocking the paradoxes of the millennial mindset. The book is an inspiring and insightful tool that compels you to seek and share better ways of living a healthier and more fulfilling life."

G. D. GANNON, Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Laws in International Law (LLM), and College Football All-American


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“At the onset of my journey, I was uninformed and ill-equipped to provide the support my son needed; I felt guilty. I found that mothers are often regarded as part of the anxiety problem and are seldom included as part of the solution. I felt marginalized. But I soon learned that it does not have to be that way.”

~ Escape from Dark Places


Young people today are tech-savvy, confident, and positive. They are also stressed, anxious, and depressed. Ambra Watkins shows participants why the number of those who suffer from anxiety and depression is trending upward and teaches how to engage in effective intergenerational communication to help prevent these mental health conditions and promote recovery.

As a seasoned trainer well versed in multiple disciplines, Ambra is the right choice to engage intergenerational audiences from behind the podium or in workshops in your church, college, or community.

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  • Good News for Stigma Fighters

    The statistics are grim: 350 million people worldwide currently live with some form of depression. More than 50% (in many countries, more than 90%) do not receive treatment (WHO) Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the US age 18 and older 70% do not receive treatment (NAMI) One in four college students has a diagnosable […]

  • Help Your Children . . . Tell Your Story!

    My family has always been pretty close. Growing up we talked, we ate dinner together, we supported each other—and we still do. But like many boomers, I I moved out of my parents’ home when I started college. Then I moved hundreds of miles away when I married and started a family. We get together […]

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    This is the second post in The State of Anxiety series.  The first post, “Anxiety: No Clear Cause,” established that while what causes anxiety disorders is complex and multi-faceted, these disorders are certainly diagnosable and treatable. This post considers a simple diagnosis—a physical cause. Last summer I took some flyers with me to Pilates to share information […]

  • Anxiety: No Clear Cause

    Anxiety is not just a fear response; it’s a fear response that is excessive and irrational. Anxiety is not just worrying about a stressful situation or event; it’s pervasive worrying that extends for a long period of time.1Anxiety is excruciatingly painful, and it interferes with a person’s ability to perform those activities that constitute what […]

  • Decompress & Power Up

    All of us have stress in our lives, but in the world today, the pressures of measuring up and the disappointment of unmet expectations often result in unhealthy levels of anxiety. Sometimes anxiety even leads to depression. In this environment, it is critical that we take time to relax and rejuvenate. I am spending time […]

  • Misunderstanding Leads to Isolation

    Some say mental illness is just like any illness, and the more I learn about the subject, the more I agree. Yet while there is an abundance of information readily available about physical ailments, mental illness is still shrouded in mystery. Have you noticed that people don’t hesitate to share what they know about all […]

  • Intergenerational Dialogue: It’s a Win-Win

    It’s hard to read—the stinging accusations Boomers, Xers, and Millennials hurl at each other practically every day. That is not helpful. Before we criticize, let’s first understand. Napoleon Bonaparte said, “To understand the man you have to know what was happening in the world when he was twenty,” and he was right. Recent and ongoing […]