Youth invited to apply for mental health short film contest for a chance to win cash prize

Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health is accepting submissions for the 2023 Directing Change Film Contest, a state-wide competition that engages young people in conversations about mental health and suicide prevention.

Participants are invited to create and submit 60-second videos that raise awareness about suicide prevention and other mental health-related topics. Final submissions are due by midnight on March 1.

The competition is free and open to middle and high school students and young adults associated with a college, university, club, program, or community-based organization.

Regional winners will advance to the state-wide award competition for an opportunity to win up to $1,000 in cash prizes. In addition, all Riverside County filmmakers are invited to attend an Academy Awards-style ceremony held at Riverside’s Fox Theater in May.

Jasmine Auge, a Murrieta High School student who won third place in last year’s state-wide competition, said at the awards ceremony that she enjoyed making the video with a friend. However, she was also motivated by the serious subject at hand.

“Suicide and suicide prevention are not talked about enough,” Auge said. “I wanted to let people know that it is ok to reach out for help or reach out for help for someone else. I hope my video makes an impact with those struggling.”

Many of the nation’s youth are struggling, according to the CDC, which reports that 44 percent of high school students feel persistently sad or hopeless, and 20 percent have seriously considered suicide.

The film contest serves the dual purpose of getting young people engaged in conversations about mental health and suicide prevention and providing schools and community-based organizations with powerful educational resources that speak directly to young people. RUHS – Behavioral Health also encourages community members to view the films to reduce stigma around mental health issues and to provide an opportunity to talk about suicide prevention and mental health topics.

For more information about the 2023 Directing Change Film Contest, click here or contact Myeshia Bobo at [email protected].


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