The power of the youth voice: High school students make films about suicide prevention

SAN DIEGO — A statewide contest that encourages high school kids to talk about suicide may be the reason it’s on the decline here in San Diego. Students have been submitting 60-second public service announcements featuring the very real issue, and Friday we find out the winner, following a red carpet event in Los Angeles.

In California, four in every 100,000 teens will commit suicide – but in San Diego called “Directing Change” is recognizing young film makers for raising awareness to such an important topic.

One girl said, “I realized that each time I shared my story, I started to feel a little better. This is me. These are my moments. It’s important to remember that social media doesn’t show every aspect of someone’s life. Don’t forget to log out and have a real conversation with those you love.”

The winning videos will be played across the state in movie theaters, and on high school campuses.

“I just like the power of the youth voice. They take such a serious topic and you can tell that they’ve researched it and given it so much thought and are so respectful. The films inspire me,” Jana Sczersputowski said, who is the founder of Directing Change.

The contest is part of Each Mind Matters, which is California’s mental health movement to prevent suicide and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  800-273-8255

Access & Crisis Line:  888-724-7240

For more information about Directing Change and to submit your own video:

A look at some of the winning films of 2016:

A look at some locally made PSA’s: