Squashing a stigma: Clovis East students place second in suicide prevention film contest
This is the message four Clovis East students set out to illustrate in a 60-second public service announcement on suicide prevention.
Their video won second place — and a $500 prize — in a statewide filmmaking contest called Directing Change, which aims to fight stigma around mental health challenges and prevent suicide.
Maegan Ankenman, a senior, junior Adryauna Speer, sophomore Caitlin Luster and freshman Malia Willison were in a peer counseling class this semester with advisor Derrick Davis.
“As peer counselors we’re a group of kids that go around counseling other kids that need it,” Adryauna said. “We talk about things that nobody else talks about. Situations come up that fall into that category (depression and suicide prevention) and we have to learn to deal with it.”
Davis learned about the film contest via a forwarded email from Gateway/Enterprise counselor Denise Sandifer.
“I thought this is perfect for our kids,” Davis said. “As peer counselors this is what we deal with on a daily basis.”
There was just one setback.
“As a peer counseling and health teacher, I have no video equipment,” Davis said.
He contacted Directing Change and through it, Brian Bishop of the Fresno County Behavioral Health Department came to the rescue.