Letter from the Publisher

Social Stigma

“I think it is a very private matter!” In a memorable scene from Ordinary People, Robert Redford’s directorial debut in 1980 (for which he won an Oscar), Mary Tyler Moore’s character chastises her husband for telling a friend their son is seeing a psychiatrist. She argues it’s an invasion of their family’s privacy and that sharing the information is in bad taste.

We’ve come a long way. Therapy is much more common and accepted now than it was a few decades ago. Some of us are not ashamed to share that we’ve sought help from a mental health professional. However, there’s still a stigma surrounding mental illness—a sense that maybe the person is weak and just needs to toughen up a bit. Anxiety and depression have been unwelcome visitors in many of our homes during the pandemic, and it’s overwhelming at times. But rather than talking about it, like we would with a physical ailment, many of us have kept things quiet. Perhaps mental health challenges are still a private matter.

In our story “The Kids Are Not All Right,” Adrienne Wichard-Edds explores the pandemic and its effects on teens and their mental health. You may have seen some of the data already—ER visits involving mental health emergencies increased 31%, the National Eating Disorders Association reported a 40% increase in calls to its helpline, and an alarming 41% of psychologists reported they couldn’t keep up with the demand for their services. What are we supposed to do? The story goes on to share helpful perspectives and resources you can use if your teen or another family member is struggling.

One silver lining of the pandemic is that I perfected my Old Fashioned recipe. (Small victories, I know.) So I am not sorry to admit that I love a well-crafted cocktail, which is an appropriate segue to another story in this issue, “12 Bars We Love,” by Adele Chapin. Whether you’re drawn to an upscale lounge, a local dive bar or something in between, the story includes some great options and tells you why you should go.

Another feature in this issue takes note of an exciting trend—the influx of top culinary talent to Northern Virginia. In “Welcome to the Neighborhood,” dining critic David Hagedorn highlights a number of legit D.C.-based chefs and restaurateurs who are opening outposts on our side of the river. The story offers a look at who’s coming, the conditions causing the migration and what to order when they arrive.

We hope you find our annual Food & Drink issue enjoyable and informative. If you have feedback you’d like to share, please email me at greg.hamilton@arlingtonmagazine.com. Letters to the editor and story ideas can be sent to jenny.sullivan@arlingtonmagazine.com. Have a great spring and thanks for reading Arlington Magazine!

Greg Hamilton, Publisher