Directing Change

RSVP for the Directing Change
Award Ceremony on May 11th, 2017
in Escondido, CA.



We are looking for judges to help us choose our 2017 winners! Contact us and let us know you’re interested in being a judge. 

Do you have expertise/interest in directing, writing, editing, acting, journalism, public service announcements, video production, suicide prevention and/or mental health?  Contact us about becoming a judge today!  The entire process would take less than 2 hours of your time, all of which can be done online from home.  The deadline to contact us with interest in being a judge is March 16, 2017.

Judges …

  • Participate in a brief 30-45 minute judging orientation in (via phone or webinar) in March 2017.
  • Review up to 12 sixty-second film submissions and complete an online scoring form for each (time commitment of less than two hours.) The judging period will be taking place in mid March 2017.
  • Are invited (but not required) to attend the award ceremony in May 2017.
  • Are recognized on the contest website and in the award ceremony program


A big thank you to our 2016 judges for their time and commitment to the Directing Change Program and Film Contest!

Statewide Judges

Alex Meraz
A multi-talented performer, Alex Meraz is a dancer, martial artist and an actor. He played the part of werewolf Paul Lahote in the Twilight Saga films.

Alex Randolph
Hon. Alex Randolph, City College of San Francisco Trustee.

Amy Landecker
Amy Landecker stars in the Golden Globe and Emmy-winning series, Transparent. Her acting resume also includes the Academy Award-nominated film, A Serious Man, and Project Almanac.

Anna Boden
Anna Boden is a film director, cinematographer, editor, and screenwriter. She is known for her collaborations with fellow filmmaker Ryan Fleck. The two filmmakers received the award for “Outstanding Film about Mental Health” from the Directing Change Program in 2015 for their film adaptation of Ned Vizzini’s book, “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”.

April Foreman
“Doc Foreman” is a Licensed Psychologist leading innovations in the suicide prevention field, and is the host of #SPSM (Suicide Prevention for Social Media).

Bradley Buecker
Bradley Buecker is a director and producer of the Golden Globe nominated show “Glee”, and has worked on numerous other projects including “The New Normal”. In 2015, Mr. Buecker received the award for “Program Supporter and Student Mentor of Directing Change” for his long time support of the Directing Change Program.

Cary McQueen
Cary is the Executive Director of Art with Impact, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that uses short films to reduce the stigma of mental illness on college and high school campuses.

Carly Starr Brullo Niles
Carly Starr Brullo Niles is an Award Winning Film Director & Founder of Love Machine Films, an independent film company for non-profit organizations that draw emotion and capture the essence of each organization’s mission & goals. Carly was also recognized by the San Diego Film Community for her career efforts and became the inaugural recipient of The Women In Film Award.

Darrell Stuckey
Darrell Stuckey is a Pro-Bowl football player with the San Diego Chargers, and the founder of the “Living 4 One” Foundation established to help people discover that they were created to influence the world in a positive way

Dese’Rae Stage
Dese’Rae L. Stage is an artist, suicide awareness advocate, and creator of Live Through This (, a collection of portraits and true stories of suicide attempt survivors nationwide.

Deven MacNair
Deven is a professional stunt performer and actress who is known for her work on films such as 22 Jump Street, The Green Lantern, Disaster Movie, Planet of the Apes, and the Disney Channel show, JESSIE.

Eileen Zeller
Eileen Zeller is the Lead Public Health Advisor at the Center for Mental Health Services for the Suicide Prevention Branch of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Eric Close
Eric Close is an actor who has had major roles on a number of television shows, including Without a Trace and currently on ABC’s hit drama, Nashville. He participated in the Each Mind Matters PSA “We are the mental health movement” that helped to raise awareness around the cause.

Gavin MacIntosh
Already an ally to the LGBTQ community and an anti-bullying advocate, Gavin MacIntosh is now also helping to end mental health stigma at Directing Change. Gavin is an actor starring in “The Fosters” and the film “American Fable”.

Gren Wells
Gren Wells is a filmmaker and screenwriter. She wrote the script for A Little Bit of Heaven and wrote and directed The Road Within, a film about three young adults coping with neurological and mental health challenges.

Gary Black
20 years Health Communication experience, including producing, writing, shooting, editing; Co-Founder of the APHA Global Public Health Film Festival, the world’s largest and longest running Film Festival dedicated to Public Health.

George Parra
George Parra is a director and producer known for award winning films including “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Nebraska”.

Greta Martela
Greta Martela is the Executive Director and Founder of Trans Lifeline which provides culturally competent services to Trans and gender nonconforming people in crisis.

James Lecesne
James Lecesne is a writer, actor, producer and is a co-founder of “The Trevor Project”, a non-profit organization determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources.

Jen James
Jen James is the Director of Crisis Counselors for the Crisis Text Line, a 24/7 free texting service for those in crisis.

John Ashton
Dr John Ashton is the President of the Faculty of Public Health, United Kingdom and was the key force in establishing the first ever Public Health Film Festival in the United Kingdom

John Draper

Kaitlin Doubleday
Kaitlin Doubleday comes from a family of actors, and early in her career she landed supporting roles in the comedies Waiting… and Accepted. She currently stars in the widely viewed prime time drama, Empire.

Katherine M. Bender
Katherine M. Bender holds a doctorate in counseling; her expertise is in college student suicide prevention; she works as the programming director for the Dave Nee Foundation, which is a non-profit in NYC whose mission is to raise awareness about depression and suicide prevention in the legal profession and she serves as an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University.

Madchen Amick
Madchen Amick is a TV actress best known for her roles in the hit shows Twin Peaks, ER and Witches of East End. Madchen has helped to end mental health stigma by promoting awareness through her personal social media accounts and now as a Directing Change judge.

Mark Powers
California Broadcasters Association

Monica Nepomuceno
Monica Nepomuceno is a consumer, family member, and advocate for student mental wellness.  Our society has a tremendous need for the education and mental health fields to connect in order to build capacity, Monica’s expertise with both disciplines and her passion for connecting the two, drive her daily work.

Pixie Monroe
Pixie Monroe, CEO / Founder, Monroe Casting and Production Services.  Pixie enjoys mentoring America’s Youth and California’s Young Filmmakers who are passionate and eager to make a difference in their communities through accurate messaging in film, television and social media.

Victor Ojakian
Mental health stigma and suicide prevention reduction does not just happen; we have to proactively advancing change.

Kevin Hines
Kevin Hines is a global speaker, author and mental health advocate. Through his powerful story of recovery Kevin reaches people around the world to help them live mentally well. His memoir “Cracked Not Broken, The Kevin Hines Story” is on several bestseller’s lists.

LaKeith Stanfield
This spring, Lakeith Stanfield will star opposite Don Cheadle and Ewan McGregor in the Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead, and in Oliver Stone’s Snowden, opposite Shailene Woodley and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Stanfield will also play the lead role in Matt Ruskin’s untitled film based on the story of wrongfully convicted prisoner Colin Warner, and joins Brad Pitt’s Netflix original film War Machine, due for release in 2016. Lakeith was last seen as Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton, as ‘Bug’ in DOPE, and as the Civil Rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson in the Oscar nominated film Selma.

Stanfield’s breakthrough performance was in 2013’s Short Term 12, written and directed by Destin Cretton. The film premiered at SXSW and won the Audience and Grand Jury awards for Best Narrative Feature. Stanfield delivered a raw performance as Marcus, a teenager faced with the imminent threat of out-aging the foster care system, and earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his role in the film. Stanfield is also a talented vocalist for the group Moors, and recently toured with James Vincent McMorrow. Moors will release their first full album via Haven Sounds in 2016.

Lauren Kawana
Lauren Kawana is the Associate Producer to the the documentary film “Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw” which chronicles Holdsclaw’s athletic accomplishments and personal setbacks, and her decision, despite public stigma, to become an outspoken mental health advocate

Linda Bergonzi King
Linda earned a Master of Public Health degree from Yale University and has been a Producer/Director of Health Communication for 25 years creating a wide range of video programs, health education tools and communication strategies for non-profit agencies; Chair of the American Public Health Association’s Global Public Health Film Festival.

Lisa Klein/Doug Blush
Directors Lisa Klein and Doug Blush have returned as judges for the third time for the Directing Change Program. Lisa and Doug are Co-Directors of the documentary “Of Two Minds”. “Of Two Minds” is the recipient of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Voice Award and the Entertainment Industries Council Prism Award for Best Documentary.

Marie Gallo Dyak
Marie is the President/CEO of the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) and the Executive Producer of the PRISM Awards TV special recognizing entertainment portrayals of mental health and substance use disorders on-screen.

Max Adler
Max Adler is an accomplished actor with credits to televisions shows including “Glee” and is currently starring as ‘Tank’ in season three of the Peabody Award Winning Series “Switched at Birth” for ABC Family. Max is a long time supporter of Directing Change and has presented multiple times at the statewide award ceremony.

Meredith O’Connor
Meredith is a singer and rising teen pop star who recently toured the world speaking to youth about her own experience overcoming bullying and other obstacles. Meredith rose to fame when her first song “Celebrity” went viral on YouTube seeing over two million views within the first two months of its release. It became a radio favorite, bringing her a fan base which became a cult-like following once she had established her anti bullying platform. Her music encourages teens to be inclusive and tolerant of one another’s differences and her anti bullying songs and music videos such as “The Game” and “Just The Thing” have changed the lives of victims of bullying. This year Meredith has teamed up with Directing Change to tour California schools sharing her message and encouraging youth to participate in the program and film contest.

Metta World Peace
Metta World Peace is an All-Star professional basketball player with the Los Angeles Lakers and is a passionate advocate for mental health.

Michael Gilvary
Michael Gilvary is a writer, producer, editor and director and was recognized with the award for Outstanding Film with Messaging around Suicide Prevention from the Directing Change Program in 2015 for his film “According to Greta” which addresses the issues of youth suicide and survivoring a suicide loss.

Mychal Simka
Mychal Simka is a writer producer of more than a dozen animated feature films.

Nicola Survanshi
Nicola directs programs for and has a background in public health and health communications, as well as being an avid TV watcher and armchair critic.

Pam Luna
Dr. Luna has an esteemed career working in schools  & public health. She is a noted author, teacher and public speaker, researcher on all things health, with a keen focus on youth. She leverages the power of film to inform and inspire and be a driving force in campaigns to create bold change. Her expertise is sought out by filmmakers who want to propel youth into reaching their maximum potential.  Dr. Luna is co-chair of the American Public Health Association’s Global Public Health Film Festival and senior trainer for RAND, Corp. utilizing film to prevent and intervene on youth risk behaviors.

Rick Goldsmith
Rick Goldsmith is the Director of the documentary film “Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw” which chronicles Holdsclaw’s athletic accomplishments and personal setbacks, and her decision, despite public stigma, to become an outspoken mental health advocate

Roger Wolfson
 A Television Writer (Law and Order: SVU, The Closer, Saving Grace) and former counsel to four US Senators (Wellstone, Kennedy, Kerry, and Lieberman).

Sally Spencer-Thomas
Sally Spencer-Thomas is a clinical psychologist, mental health advocate, faculty member, consumer of mental health services, survivor of her brother’s suicide, the founder of the Carson J. Spencer Foundation.

Stephanie Welch
Stephanie Welch is the Executive Officer of COMIO at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. COMIO aims to prevent youth and adults with behavioral health needs from incarceration and recidivism. Previously Stephanie was the Senior Program Manager at the CA Mental Health Services Authority overseeing the implementation of the Each Mind Matters Campaign.

Suamhirs Rivera

T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh
T’Keyah is an award winning performer, writer, director and producer known for her work on “That’s So Raven,” “Cosby,” and “In Living Color”.  Currently studying for her Masters degree in psychology, she has also participated on the Entertainment Industries Council’s Prism Awards Review Panel for many years and has learned a great deal from the lively exchanges between entertainment and scientific panelists.

Tom Kline
Tom has many years of experience in the Entertainment Business.

Trent Duncan
Trent Duncan is an award winning independent filmmaker and military veteran interested in the creative development of young filmmakers.


Regional Judges

Agnes Murray
Agnes comes across many youth and parents who appear to be suffering from mental illness while attending Student Attendance Review Board hearings and juvenile court proceedings. She wants to help remove the stigma from mental illness so that everyone gets the help they need to become successful. She believes this film contest is a wonderful way to get students and adults talking about the symptoms of mental illness and ways we can all help.

Alan R. Stein
Alan has been a leader in BHC for more than 30 years in the private, governmental and nonprofit sectors.  BHC and the expansion of coverage and elimination of stigma are critical to a just society.

Alex Brownlee
Alex Brownlee is a teacher at C5 Children’s School and a student at San Francisco State University majoring in Child and Adolescent Development.

Alexander Trac
Alexander is a Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Program Planner for Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health Services and oversees several suicide, and bullying prevention programs.

Alexis DeLeon
California National Guard Child and Youth Program Manager – Provide support to maintain quality of life and resilience of Army National Guard Families through secure, timely, flexible, high-quality support services and enrichment programs.

Alexis Stokes
Alexis has a background in community journalism and is currently new to working with Kern County MHSA team.

Alicia Rodriguez
Dr. Rodriguez is a mental health professional in Hawai’i. She has worked with a variety of communities in Los Angeles and in the Hawaiian Islands.

Allison Haynes
Allison works for Riverside County Office of Education and is excited to see young adults as they direct change to prevent suicide, and reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness.

Angela M Benson
Angela’s interest in judging this contest comes from both a passion for great human experience stories told through excellent film-making, from her experience as a lifelong consumer of mental health services, and as a provider of addiction recovery counseling. 

Anna Yribe
Anna became an active part of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program with the California National Guard in June of 2013.  In March of 2015, she took over as the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for the California National Guard.  Her work with victims of sexual assault consistently brings her in contact with behavioral health issues and situations of crisis.  She is always looking for innovative ways to address the issues that I see and work with. Anna is honored to be a participant and judge in this event. 

Anne Fitzgerald
Most of Anne’s career has been in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health; She applauds the creative expression which allows teens to put forward information about their experiences/ feelings.

Ashley Flores
Ashley is the Warm Line Lead Supporter at Project Return Peer Support Network and knows firsthand that every voice is worth being heard. Through this understanding and five years’ experience working with TAY, she believes the conversation on suicide prevention and ending the silence of mental illness is a movement youth must lead and be involved in. 

Aubrey Lara
Aubrey Lara has over 15 years experience working to empower youth through leadership and advocacy, including managing a video production studio staffed entirely by young adults.

Audrey Pusey
Audrey is a Student Affairs professional and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor who serves as a member on many university committees which focus on assisting students with an array of mental health concerns including addictive disorders, suicidal ideation and sexual assault.

 Autumn Endara
Autumn graduated from The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles with a degree in Video Production and has worked for networks such as CBS, Spike TV, and DirectTv.  

B.J. Rouse
Veteran judge, B.J. Rouse, an award winning independent filmmaker in Los Angeles, California, is a former recipient of both the Panavision and Kodak New Filmmaker grants and was selected as one of twelve in the 2006 Hanks-Miller Advanced Screenwriting Program housed at the University of Southern California (USC).

Babs Acosta
Babs is a queer, neuro​atypical, 24-year-old feminist who recently received her BA in Psychology and Social Behavior. Her interest is to put an emphasis on the intersectionality of mental health, which includes examining gender identity, sexuality, race, and class, and the ways in which these areas are often ignored within the mental health system.

Basant Virdee
Basant helps lead nationwide conversations on mental health through a text message enabled program called Text, Talk, Act, a project of Creating Community Solutions.

Becky Fein
Becky is a mental health advocate and Program Manager with Active Minds, Inc. Additionally, she is the Founding Director of the awareness-building documentary film project, Powerful Voices Project.

Barbara L. Pomerantz
Barbara has been involved in public education for 40+ years, has provided support for hundreds of at-risk students and their families impacted by mental health and wellness issues, and helped facilitate the implementation of Mission Possible, a school-based family counseling program in the Natomas Unified School District.

Belinda Vea, PhD
Belinda has had the pleasure of being a Directing Change judge over the past two years and is inspired by the creativity, depth, and skill level illustrated in the student videos.

Beth Hassett
Beth has extensive experience creating public service announcements and campaigns for mental health services and has served multiple times as a judge for public relations awards.

Blair Davis
Blair is a licensed psychologist specializing in college mental health and alcohol and other drug issues, with a background in media studies, writing and communications.

Bonnie Black
Bonnie Black is a long time Career Counselor with experience in higher ed, non profit and small business. She has worked with students with disabilities, and older adults, as will as the general student population. She has first hand experience with student suicide, and wants to help with this small effort to do what she can to shed light on mental health issues.

Brei Thompson
Brei was an Emmy-Award winning field producer who worked in television news for more than a decade.  She now produces marketing, advertising and social media videos for clients at RSE.

Brenda Scott
Brenda is a family member who has two family members who took their lives when she was in high school. She has been an advocate for mental since she joined the NAMI organization and learned about the discrimination in our society regarding mental health which  hinders those with trauma experiences to seek the support they need to be able to become resilient and thrive in our communities.

Brian Bishop
Brian has taught video production to High School students and creates public service announcements and short videos for Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health.

Brian Hellam
As an art director, Brian is always excited to see new creative ways to communicate visually.

Brittany Cellery 

Brook Penca
Brook has been a secondary administrator for 15 years, and is a very big proponent of our program. 

Camilla Williams
Camilla has been touched by suicide in both her professional and personal roles, and has been trained and worked to understand and prevent suicide in her community for over a decade.

Candice Coots
Candice Espinoza Coots is an Emmy award-winning sports producer currently leading the digital video group at Pac-12 Networks. Candice is also a mental health activist working with NAMI San Francisco and previously NAMI NYC-Metro.

Carly Starr Brullo Niles
Love Machine Fine Art Films and Photography

Carol Skiljan
Carol has been a judge for the Directing Change Program since the first year and looks forward to seeing the high quality production and powerful messaging of the student entries.

Carole Cox
As a school counselor, Carole has worked with both middle and high school students for 36 years.  She also worked on the K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI) for Region 1. Carole is currently working as a school counselor for Mattole.

Cary McQueen
Cary is the Founder and Executive Director of Art with Impact, a North American nonprofit that uses the emotional and connective power of short films to reduce the stigma of mental illness on college and high school campuses.

Catherine La Fond
Catherine is an artist, calligraphy being my main median, although she also draws and paints. She has experience with PR and worked for the city of San Diego for 16 years and has many contacts within the city government.

Catherine M. Eckl
Catherine Eckl, LCSW from Alvarado Parkway Institute has worked in the San Diego mental health community for the past 34 years and is passionate about providing San Diego youth creative opportunities to increase awareness and decrease stigma related to mental health.

Che Hernandez
After the suicide of his nephew, Austin, in 2009, Che serves the community in suicide prevention, suicide survivor support, and advocates for mental health stigma reduction and mental wellness. 

Cheryl August
Featured on Saturday Night Live, Cheryl August uses humor to spark interest and understanding about the effects of trauma on mental health and recovering the authentic self. 

Cherain Good
Cherain is a Marriage and Family Therapist currently working with Veterans in the Inland Empire, Cherain has worked with multiple social services agencies as well as the federal prison system.

Christina Marie
Christina is proud to serve as a judge because she is passionate about fostering community and building projects that speak for a cause in Digital Media.

Christine Mariano
Christine’s expertise includes working with youth of color to become empowered and in eliminating the stigma of mental health so that our youth can get the help they need.

 Christopher Weston
Christopher thoroughly enjoyed the videos last year and the creativity!

Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee is a two-time Emmy nominated director for the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office whose current work focuses on the law and justice community and the positive impact they are making throughout the county.

Connor Adamson
Connor is a avid fan of cinema having seen over 1000 films even though he’s only 21 years of age. He also has a passion for social ministry and bringing attention to the nation’s often overlooked struggles with mental illness and depression.

Cristina Rita
Cristina has worked in the Suicide Prevention field for 10 years developing training curriculum’s and workshops to better education both professionals in the mental health field and the general public about suicide and suicide prevention.

Curtis McMullan
As a children’s therapist and crisis professional Curtis has a passion and compassion for others who suffer with emotional pain.

Cyndi McDonald
Cyndi has been involved with her local and national suicide prevention workgroups and organizations for the past 3 years and enjoys supporting this contest as a great avenue or suicide prevention and reduction.

Cynthia White
Cynthia White is a program manager for Community Crisis Services in San Bernardino County, which provides a mobile response team serving those experiencing a mental health crisis.

Dani Staylor
Dani is the manager of the Legacy Transgender Adult Services program in Portland, OR, which is a leading program in providing medical care and transition services to transgender individuals.

David Bartley
Active mental health speaker, author and advocate

David Bain
David has been with NAMI Sacramento for over four years and is passionate about improving the lives of people seeking mental wellness and their family members.

David M. Schoelen
David has worked for the public behavioral health service system for 28 years and is currently the Workforce Education and Training Manager for Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health.

Debbie Brown
Director of Operations for the International Bipolar Foundation.

Deborah Lepas
Deborah Lepas has worked for the County of San Diego’s mental illness stigma reduction and suicide prevention media campaign, It’s Up to Us.

Debra Hornaday
Debra is a School Counselor who works with elementary students. She is concerned about the well-being of the students because some of them experience major challenges even at a very young age.

Dennie Maslak
I am a survivor of generational suicide and a passionate advocate of suicide prevention, and as a MHSA team member I spearhead the MHSA consumer events and demonstrate creative approaches in outreach and engagement to educate and de-stigmatize mental health in Mendocino County.

Diana Griffis

Diane Sommers
As director of Suicide Prevention for over 25 years, Diane has managed our 24-crisis hotlines as well as the “SOS-Signs of Suicide”” school education and prevention program for adolescents within Yolo County.  The agency fully supports the opportunity for students to make a life-changing difference with their peers.

Donna Hardaker
Donna has been speaking about her personal experience with mental health and addiction issues for over ten years in workplaces across North America, and has developed and delivered training to reduce social prejudice and equip everyone in the workplace to address mental health issues more effectively.

Elaine E. Collins
I have been supporting and empowering adolescents for over 25 years in a high school setting and look forward to the day when Mental Health issues are no longer stigmatized.

Elizabeth Hagen
My interest in this contest stems from my strong desire to help raise awareness and smash the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Ellen King
Ellen is a six year member of NAMI Sac, a former psychiatric nurse and mental illness is in her family.

Emily Wu Truong
Emily Wu Truong is a Motivational Speaker & Mental Health Advocate featured in Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s 2014 anti-stigma public service announcements for its social inclusion campaign in collaboration with the California Mental Health Movement, Each Mind Matters.

Estela Padilla
Estela Padilla is the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Kern County Mental Health (KCMH) Department.  Estela coordinates outreach and education efforts as well as leads the May is Mental Health Awareness month activities in Kern County.

Evan Oliva
Evan served as a judge for the previous two years’ competitions, and has been consistently impressed with the quality of messaging participants have incorporated into their submissions.

Geneva Andrada
Geneva works with a patient population at high risk for suicide and in need of psychiatric hospitalization, has an interest in supporting clients and families in crisis.

Gerald White
Gerald has been passionate about mental health since adolescence and hopes to help California foster a healthy dialogue around the subject.

Gerry Larvey 

Ghazala Rehan
Ghazala’s breadth of expertise spans from Student transitions from home to college, cultural issues, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and stress related concerns. She specializes in adult psychiatry and med-management along with an in-depth understanding of cultural/religious difference-induced stress and challenges faced by the immigrant communities.

Grace Park
Grace has an MSW degree and a BA in Film Studies which gives her a unique blend of looking at critical issues that affect our society using film as a medium to communicate and address them to a wide audience.

Guy Magar
Director/writer/producer in film and TV – Founder and instructor of Action/Cut Filmmaking Seminars & Competition – wishing to contribute to your Directing Change Program and Film Contest

Hayley Elrod
Suicide Awareness is a cause that I am passionate about as a therapist working with children and toward increased mental health and well-being.

Heather Zupin
Heather is the content manager at International Bipolar Foundation.

Heather Griffin
Heather has been a school counselor for almost 20 years and is honored to help judge the student films for Directing Change, which reduce stigma related to mental health and support California’s Mental Health Movement.

Heather McClenahen

Hector Ramirez
Hector M. Ramirez is an international disabilities advocate. He is a committee member with the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission and a current member of the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission. As an Autistic person with a mental health diagnosis Hector focuses his work to help people, families, and communities find purpose in all their abilities. #PurposeAbilities”

Hilva Chan
Hilva Chan is the Program Director of Project Cal-Well, a federal grant intended to improve student mental health awareness and wellness in California.

 Heather Alesch
Dr Heather Alesch is a clinical psychologist for Union of Pan Asian Communities Alliance for Community Empowerment. She has served youth and families in various capacities for over 10 years.  The expressive arts are a large part of her clinical practice and personal life.  Heather feels honored to participate in judging this year’s films.

Isaias Rumayor Jr.
I have a passion for education.  My background in school counseling continues to drive many of my decisions, as we identify strategies to further enhance and support the learning of all students.

Imo Momoh

 Ivan Jaramillo
Youth are creative when it comes to expressing their emotions and sentiment through technology. Ivan is looking forward to viewing the submissions and entries for this year’s directing change program.

 James R. Harris
Dr. James R. Harris is a clinical psychologist working with adults and children, and is the managing editor of the, a mental health news aggregation website.  He is an expert on Happiness (the subject of his dissertation) and has written for film and television.

 Jamie Moran
Jamie Moran, LCSW, CGP, has been a mental health provider for the past 31 years and has a strong interest in macro issues impacting mental health.

 Jane Adcock
California Mental Health Planning Council. Jane has been involved in mental health since the late 1990s and has seen the tremendous change California has implemented in helping individuals achieve recovery.  She served as a judge in 2015 and looks forward to doing it again in 2016 while doing her part to continue the change.

Janine Moore
Suicide prevention and mental health stigma reduction is a passion on mine and as an integral part of my work.

 Jasmine Lin
I am a peer supporter in San Francisco and I believe in the power of sharing stories to eliminate stigma.

 Jason Halley
Jason is a returning judge and currently works as the University Photographer at California State University, Chico, photographing a variety stories involving student lifestyles and higher education features.

Jeanine Gaines
Jeanine Gaines is looking forward to using her experience in video production and multicultural community development to support this year’s Directing Change competition.

 Jeff Kist
Jeff is a Veteran, Pastor, Crisis worker, parent and grandparent. We need to educate and work together to prevent suicide.

 Jeff Sabean
Licensed Marriage and family Therapist and Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor who oversees Stanislaus County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Juvenile Justice Behavioral Health and Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Programs.

Jenni Klock Morel
Jenni serves on the Board of Directors for Survivors of Suicide Loss (SOSL) in San Diego County. Jenni is a writer, creator, ACE Certified Health Coach, attorney, cat lover, tree-hugger, figure skater and devout yogi. She is impressed and inspired by the students’ dedication to direct change and to rally for Mental Health Matters.

 Jenny Yuen
Mental health impacts us all. I am happy to see that folks are coming together to bring mental health and wellness to the forefront. It’s time to stop the stigma.

Jeraniqua Martin
Being  a judge for the Directing Change Film Contest means so much to Jeraniqua because she is able to utilize her passion and expertise on a topic that deserves so much awareness because Mental Health Matters and those that live with!

 Jeremy Wilson
Each mind matters goes beyond the green ribbon for me as I have lived it and now use my voice to promote mental wellness for all.

 Jeremy Garza
People connect in countless ways and encouraging positive interactions is important to our collective wellness.

 Jerry Hall
Jerry advocates for suicide prevention initiatives through the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Advisory Board (BHAB).

Jill Gover
Dr. Gover is a clinical psychologist specializing in depression, responsible for creating a Suicide Bullying Prevention Program for the PSUSD, and a certified trainer for the Ca. Suicide Intervention skills training.

 Jill Newman
If we take the approach, “It takes a village to raise a child.”, and broaden the definition to be inclusive of our community, then Jill truly believe mental health issues will be given the same status as any other human rights currently being fought over, or won in the past.

 Jo Ann Allen
Jo Ann has worked in student prevention programs for over 27 years, and this contest is one of the most powerful displays of youth helping youth that has had the honor of judging.

Joan Beesley
Joan is a MHSA Program Administrator, the mother of an adult who has a serious mental illness, and a film aficionado who loves to witness the creative energy of our youth put to good use.

Joe Nuss
Joe is hopeful that his personal experience with mental health issues will contribute to reducing the stigma surrounding seeking help.

John Nordlinger
While at USC, John has written an award winning and produced TV pilot (Boots) about LA’s Skid Row, (Burbank Film Festival 2013 (best student film)) and have written  directed and produced many social relevant films including Allegory of the Game, (winner 2008 LA, SF and NY Short film festival) and produced Bryce Woodworth’s award winning film An Exchange. 

 John Dent
John Dent has been teaching media at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta CA for the past 13 years.  He has co directed and judged the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Digital Days program, as well as numerous other video contests.  His students have won dozens of national awards in video production and media.

 John Mackenzie
John has served as an inpatient psychiatric director as well as treating nurse and currently perform mental health assessment services for 21 hospitals across California where we focus on early treatment and treatment at the least restrictive setting taking into account patient’s rights and appropriate services.

 Joyce Bruggeman
Joyce works to educate the community about mental health, suicide and suicide prevention to reduce stigma and help connect people to vital resources.

Julie Xie
To support the mental health development of our next generations has been Julie’s passion at work as a school psychologist for the past 17 years.

Julie Howard
Clinical Specialist at Phoenix House, Inc. and Professor at Antelope Valley College, Julie ‘s dedicated to working with families and adolescents spanning complex issues dealing with academic & social pressures, self-harm, substance abuse, binge drinking, anxiety & depression. “I believe the adolescents will be the next leaders of our future, and when struggling this is an opportunity to learn deeper set of skills.”

Kailah Byrd
MSW Candidate June 2016; BA, Communication Media

Karen George
Karen has been working with the MHSA planning committees since the law came into effect.  She has worked with the Suicide Prevention community planning process and have participated in various Suicide Prevention trainings.

 Karen Martinez
Karen has been a deputy district attorney for almost 29 years and her areas of specialty have been in the prosecution of child sexual abuse and helping survivors of abuse and human trafficking. Many of the survivors she’s known have had serious mental health concerns and she wants to be as informed and helpful as possible.

 Katalin Parti
Ph.D. in infocommunication and law, MA in media- and communication sociology, and MA in law and political sciences. She is a research fellow with the National Institute of Criminology and program director at ESZTER Foundation for the Sexually Abused, member of the editorial board of journal Info-communication and Law, peer reviewer with the Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology. Co-writer of the White Paper on Cyberbullying created for the Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, a project supported by the National Academy of Sciences to define the nation’s research agenda regarding children and digital technology.

 Katherine M. Bender
Katherine has a Ph.D. in counseling and completed her dissertation on suicide prevention on college campuses.  Katherine works as the programming director for the Dave Nee Foundation which is a NYC based nonprofit with a mission to raise awareness about depression and suicide prevention within the legal field.

 Kimberle Taitano
Kimberle is a Trauma Recovery & Wellness Coach, her personal experiences with living & managing her own diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder is a message of hope & healing. A passionate advocate for educating & awareness about mental illness is a role she is honored to play. She is a published author, and is currently working on her first book; “A life Imagined; The Cost of Delusion, A journey through Mental Illness & Suicide” due to be released in 2016

 Kimetha Petteway-Turner
Kimetha has a passion for helping people that are hurting, and for making them aware that they are not alone, help is available.

 Kristian Castro
Kristian previously served as a digital media educator for a nonprofit program designed to empower youth with the creative tools for social change, so he is looking forward reviewing this year’s film submissions.

Kristin Yellam
Kristin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in Public Mental Health for 15 years and is involved in local suicide prevention and stigma reduction efforts.

 Krystina Ornelas
Art Institute Alumni currently working as an Assistant Producer at RSE in Sacramento, Ca.

Larry Carter II
As a mental health provider, I support this effort to increase awareness and reduce stigma associated with mental health concerns.

 LaTanya Green
This is LaTanya’s third year participating in the judging of the Directing Change Program and Film Contest; each year she is amazed and elated at the talent of the students and the message they work so hard to share.

Laura Saitta
Laura participated in last year’s event and really enjoyed seeing everyone’s vision take shape in the PSAs. This past year, she has been focused on writing TV pilots and screenplays for production companies. She has also completed a PSA through Women In Film, and showcased two short films at film festivals this year that she wrote and directed.

LC Granger
LC is an MPTV professional who enjoys giving a hand to select causes.

Leah Davis
Leah Davis is the Deputy Director for the County of San Diego and County of Riverside’s mental illness stigma reduction and suicide prevention media campaign, It’s Up to Us.

Leonard Alfaro
Leonard is a peer self-advocacy coordinator with Disability Rights California and facilitates self advocacy groups in San Francisco.

Lia Bruce
Lia Bruce has a background in film production and was the creative executive to film producer, Matt Baer (known for UNBROKEN, MAGGIE, CITY BY THE SEA). She now supports communications and video production on a grant at the University of San Diego.

Loren Goldstein
I am a member of the Suicide Prevention Council and believe that people should know there is help out there and they are not alone. I also believe that suicide is a taboo topic, but the more we talk about it the more people we can help.

Lorry Leigh Belhumeur
Dr. Lorry Leigh Belhumeur, the CEO of Western Youth Services, and leading Mental Health Solutions Expert, is passionate about breaking the invisible barriers that keep youth from accessing mental health and wellness solutions.

Luz Pinto
Luz has extensive experience managing psychiatric research studies and passionate about suicide prevention, helping people with mental health issues, and reducing mental health-related stigma.

 Malia L.J. Fontecchio
Malia L.J. Fontecchio, MSW is a social worker, trainer, speaker, program coordinator, and researcher at Project Return Peer Support Network who specializes in the reduction of the stigma of mental health challenges, specifically through sharing recovery stories.

 Mandy Stanfill
Family Assistance Director-We provide resources and referrals to all branches of the military regardless of status.

Marcel Harris
Marcel believes we need to create more opportunities such as the Directing Change Film Contest to provide our young students with creative ways for stigma reduction and advocacy efforts. He lost two family members to suicide and mental illness is very prevalent amongst his family. Marcel believes strongly in empowerment through storytelling and knows firsthand just how vital having the right support is.

Maria Zavala-Waterman
Maria has previous teaching experience working with multicultural populations affords her a broad perspective of our youth, thereby the ability to provide a fair and unbiased assessment of their talent.

Maria Chairez
As a lifelong educator, counselor and advocate for at-risk youth, Dr. Maria Chairez is passionate about helping youth learn and use their artistic talents for self-expression. She dabbles in multimedia as a hobby and is willing to share her professional expertise with youth and youth led organizations.

Mariah J. Andrews
Mariah is a Staff Development Officer with the Department of Mental Health for Riverside County, focusing efforts on implementation of Prevention and Early Intervention services throughout Riverside County.

Marie Gallo Dyak
Marie is the President/CEO of the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) and the Executive Producer of the PRISM Awards TV special recognizing entertainment portrayals of mental health and substance use disorders on-screen.

 Mark Spencer
Mark’s participation in this particular project stems from his desire to assist children facing social, personal, and mental issues. I currently am involved in multiple projects and Statewide initiatives, those duties are in addition to my role as an active member of the Board at Ascension Works and Hip-hop Collective Group.

Mark Vigario
Mark oversees SCOE’s Prevention and Student Services Department which has been heavily involved in mental health, drug/alcohol prevention, etc., as well as serves on the Sacramento County MHSA Steering Committee.

Mark Powers
For the past twenty years Mark has been the Vice President at the California Broadcasters Association, the industry trade group for the 1000+ radio and television broadcasters in the state.  Prior to that, he worked as a Chief of Staff for two members of the Legislature.  He has been an adjunct faculty member in Communication Studies/Journalism at Sacramento State University for the past 15 years.

 Martina Bedar
As a career professional in mental health as both teacher and counselor, and an avid volunteer for NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) Martina has great interest in doing whatever she can to reduce the stigma against and isolation of the mentally ill, with a particular interest in youths.

 Matthew Gallagher
Matthew would like to be a judge in Directing Change because he has a love for both passion and film which is personified in this event.

Matthew Martinez
Matthew is interested in being a judge for the program because he wants to see firsthand the important work young people are doing to help other kids their age to learn about mental health and suicide prevention.

Mayte Eriksson
Brief, timely and powerful videos get the message across more effectively than any other medium, and my 30+ years of experience with suicidal people makes me an expert.

Megan Mills
Megan has been a ‘psych patient’ for 30 years, and have now become a worker and advocate in the Public Mental Health Workforce, which allows me to use my experience, strength and hope to help others with serious mental illness/mental health challenges.

Melissa Margain
Melissa is a U.S Army Disabled Combat Veteran who copes with the stresses of a Traumatic Brain Injury, PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder and someone who believes in positive platforms to connect those in need of support.

 Melissa Leal
Melissa has several years of experience working with Native American youth, teaching film classes, and directing and producing films for major networks, film companies and independently.

 Michael Axinn
As a video professional with experience from over three dozen feature films, Michael has always considered it important to nurture talent and encourage initiatives where video is used to make a difference in people’s lives.

 Michelle C. Carlson
Michelle is the Executive Director for Teen Line, dedicated to supporting teens through a teen-to-teen hotline, website resources and outreach to youth. She strongly believes that youth have the power to change how we view mental illness and suicide, if given the opportunity to be heard.

Michelle E. Carlson
Working as a Program Specialist at Tuolumne County Behavioral Health, Michelle has the opportunity to be of service to the community in many ways. Encouraging growth and change is Michelle’s passion.

Michael Helmick

 Michele Jackson
Having a son who has a Mental Illness and attempted suicide, being an individual with a Mental Illness myself, working as a teacher with many students over the years who needed support and being trained in safeTALK and ASIS, Michele sees how important it is to address the stigma surrounding Mental Illness and to begin openly talking about suicide and suicide prevention.

Mindy Pomper Johnson
Mindy Pomper Johnson is a documentary producer and director with over 15 years experience in the entertainment industry.  “Free A Man to Fight” a documentary she independently produce and directed, won many awards at film festivals, and aired on History Channel.  Other series she has been a producer on include “Life After People” for History, “Best Evidence” for Discovery, and “Strange Truth” for National Geographic. Last year, when she taught Film & Video Production at the high school level, her students entered this contest, and they won an honorable mention.

 Monica Gallegos
Monica Gallegos works at Disability Rights California’s Peer-Self Advocacy Unit. I am working to change in the way we talk about mental illness and individuals with Developmental Disabilities.

 Monica Nepomuceno
Monica Nepomuceno is a consumer, family member, and advocate for student mental wellness.  Our society has a tremendous need for the education and mental health fields to connect in order to build capacity, Monica’s expertise with both disciplines and her passion for connecting the two, drive her daily work.

Muffy Walker
Muffy is the founder and Chairman of International Bipolar Foundation. She is a psychiatric nurse and an advocate championing the cause to change the conversation about mental illness & suicide.

 Nancy Zamora
Nancy has the privilege to work with children and youth and enjoy having the opportunity to engage in conversations where they define what wellbeing and mental health means to them. She has an interest in being exposed the talent, creativity and message that youth will share through their videos.

 Naomi Laeuchli
Naomi Laeuchli is an author, who has worked closely with both new and upcoming playwrights and screenwriters, and served as a judge for the Directing Change film contest for the past three years.

Nicole Williams
Nicole is a family member of a person living with a mental illness and a Family to Family class trainer.

Nelson Akicita Chaske
31 years as a Native American Indian Traditional Cultural Teacher in the education field, working directly with Native Youth.

Nenick Vu

Nicole Beckstrand
Nicole Beckstrand is an award winning health care communications executive and currently serves as the Vice President of Public Relations and Communications for Evofem, a San Diego based biotech firm focused on developing and marketing novel women’s health products. Prior to joining Evofem, Beckstrand was the Vice President of Integrated Communications for Millennium Health where she led national campaigns to raise awareness about prescription drug underuse, misuse and abuse.

Otto Wahl
For almost 40 years, Otto has taught, published, and spoken about mental illness stigma and ways to reduce it.

 Pat Fitzmorris
Pat has served as a judge previously. She works in the San Diego U nified School district coordinating Healthy Start and Medi-Cal Collaborative programs

Patricia Carberry
I have worked with Didi Hirsch’s Survivors After Suicide program since 2002, which was the year my brother committed suicide.

Patricia Pavone
Patricia has been a judge for the past two years; She enjoyed the experience very much and thinks the program is very well done.

Paul Coleman

 Pierre Scott

 Pixie Monroe
Pixie Monroe, CEO / Founder, Monroe Casting and Production Services. Pixie enjoys mentoring America’s Youth and California’s passionate Young Filmmakers who are eager to make a difference in their communities through accurate messaging in film, television and social media.

 Rachel Silver
Rachel is really looking forward to be judging this years participants suicide prevention videos in part because when she was in high school she did Suicide Prevention workshops for her fellow peers. She has been working as social worker for the last 10 years primarily with youth and teens in foster care. Last year she lost two of my former high school classmates to suicide. She knows how important suicide prevention can be to young people and is looking forward to seeing the youth directed videos.

 Rebecca Quiroz Bray
As a high school intervention counselor who runs numerous social/emotional support groups, everyday Rebecca is on the front lines of suicide prevention and ending the stigma of mental illness among our students. Previously, she worked as a casting director in Los Angeles for several years utilizing my undergraduate degree in Film and Television.

 Rebecca Mejia
As an active member of community mental health education, I recognize the importance of people speaking out and making bold statements and I support this project because it effectively encourages the communication that the mental health community desperately needs.

 Rene Martin Moncada
René currently coordinates the RESTATE Grant in Kings and Tulare Counties utilizing the Youth Mental Health First Aid curriculum which calls for students to create media art projects as part of their synthesis.

 Ricky Bispo
B.A. Psychology, Ricky has worked closely for many years with mental health professionals and many consumers. He has himself been a consumer of services over the years as well.

 Renee Cookson
Renee Cookson has 34 years of professional experience in Mental Health and Behavioral Health Services, educating and coordinating services for consumers on recovery and living healthy lifestyles, in addition to community charity and volunteer contributions.

 Renee Lopez
Since 1996, Dr. Renée Lopez has devoted her training and professional career to working with the college student population and has experience in both California and New York.  Renée enjoys being an advocate for good self-care and embraces the opportunity to provide College Mental Health services that promote the enrichment of student life and emotional health and wellness.

 Robin Privett
Robin supports all Mental Health Organizations as they seek to end the stigma and provide easy access to all those who could benefit from supportive services.

Robin Meloche
As the County Coordinator, Robin handles all Suicide Prevention outreach and education including teaching the ASIST and SafeTALK workshops.  She enjoys taking the Directing Change clips into the public and we receive many appreciative comments.

 Robin Gantsweg
As a peer and a professional, Robin is interested in finding new ways to address stigma and discrimination and think that students’ creativity in making videos is a great way to encourage conversation about mental health.

 Rosemary Rubin
Rosemary Rubin co-chairs the Los Angeles County Suicide Review Committee. She is a school counselor and a board member of the California Association of School Counselors.  She spent 10 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District Suicide Prevention Unit. In addition to work on suicide prevention, she trained others in crisis response and bully prevention.

 Ruben Preuss
Producer/Director and mental health professional

Ruth Golden
Ruth is a loss survivor and a professional TV producer and believes this is a great opportunity for students to practice filmmaking skills on a project that can make a big impact.

Samuel Romeal
Romeal is a Human Service Program Planner for Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services working on Suicide Prevention.

Sandri Kramer
Sandri has worked for many as a producer of environmental documentaries and commercials, and has been active in the field of suicidology for more than 20-years; in her current role at the Suicide Prevention Center she still produces PSA’s, training videos, and honorary docu-briefs.

Sara Appelbaum
Sara Appelbaum is a Peer and Suicide Prevention Counselor working with residents of San Francisco and Alameda County. She is committed to person-first support for those living with mental health challenges, and reducing the stigma surrounding suicide by providing a safe, healthy environment for clients to express themselves and instilling a sense of community by sharing her own lived experience.

Scott Rose
Scott is a principal at RSE, an integrated marketing firm with offices in Sacramento and Los Angeles. RSE provides advertising, public relations, digital and crisis communications services and has emerged as a leader in social marketing. Through his 25 year career at the company, he has worked on any number of campaigns and has been instrumental in the development and growth of Each Mind Matters; California’s Mental Health Movement.

Shadi H Barfjani
Shadi is an MD who has worked tirelessly in different community based projects including UC Davis research in gender- based violence in Northern California Clinics and “Coaching Boys Into Men” in Sacramento high schools. She currently serves as VP of BRAVE society where the focus of her activities is the welfare of the youth and improvement of the school environment. Her team works hard to create awareness and offer solution about youth suicide, bullying and mental health to make schools and the community a safer place for all children

Shannon Jaccard
Shannon, CEO of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI San Diego), champions efforts to reduce stigma and increase understanding and hope for everyone affected by mental illness–which, in reality, is all of us in one way or another.

Shannon McCleerey-Hooper
As a person with lived experience in mental health, Shannon manages the largest Peer Support Program in the State of California, the Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health, Consumer Affairs division, which trains and employs people who self identify with a mental health challenge, working to bring recovery-focused service delivery to the entire system of care.

Shelley Graner
Shelley Graner worked at IMAX for 11 years before volunteering with Kiva in India, and now works as a writer and marketing consultant. She loves documentaries and thinks film is a great medium for education.

Shenglana Lo
Actively involved in education and want to help spread this topic to all ages #IAmStigmaFree.

Sheree Summers
Sheree is a mental health professional who is inspired by the tremendous and creative efforts of our local community in supporting increased awareness, education and advocacy efforts around suicide prevention and mental health!

Sherrie Medinger Fabricius
It is an honor to give back in some small way the wonderful help NAMI gives to so many, with practical tools, inspiration, and busting stigma. My involvement began with family mental health issues and a long history of suicide in her extended family.

Shinay Bowman
Shinay is currently a certified Asist Suicide Intervention Trainer and personally feel that more awareness, and training and creating suicide safer communities is needed.

 Stacy E. Kratz
Stacy is a Social Work Educator at The University of Southern California, passionate mental health clinician, and policy advocate, focused on improving access to quality mental health services and advancing effective policy informed by a person-in-environment approach in pursuit of a more humane society.

 Steven Nelson
As the founder & President of an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization through expressive arts and a former motion film producer, I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing contest!

 Steven Fong
Working in the communications field in advertising agencies and film production companies, Steven is always amazed by the passion, resourcefulness and talent of these young filmmakers.

Susan Allen Ortega

Sylvestre Espinoza
Sylvestre earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Film and Video from the Art Institute in Sacramento and have worked in a variety of music videos, commercials, and films.

Sylvia Leung
Sylvia s a Community Health Planner for the San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Office of Diversity and Equity. Sylvia is interested in judging the Directing Change Program and Film Contest submission because she coordinates programs related to stigma discrimination reduction, student mental health and suicide prevention. She is also very interested in the film contest because she believes in the powers of stories to reduce stigma and raise awareness around mental health, wellness and recovery.

 Taisha Caldwell-Harvey
Taisha is trained as a counseling psychologist and have worked in mental health with higher education for six years.

 Tamara Whitney
Tamara Whitney is the Executive Producer for an award winning middle school video production class whose accomplishments include Grand Prize Winners at the NFL Sponsored Fuel Up to Play 60 National Video Contest, and most recently an Honorable Mention in the White House Film Festival.

 Terrie Hawthorne
The real world experience Terrie received from her mother who was depressed her whole life added to the professional training and work experience she gained as a therapist before over coming her own life changing experience which inspires Terrie and fuels her passion and involvement in treatment and recovery of depression and suicidality.

 Terry Lewis
Terry Lewis is the Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission and the chair of the Health Integration Committee of the California Mental Health Planning Council.  She is a mental health professional, educator and consultant.  Ms. Lewis works with urban communities to improve mental health services for women and children.

 Tom Orrock
Tom Orrock is an Associate Government Program Analyst for the California Mental Health Planning Council.  He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in Sacramento County.

 Tiffany Carmona
Tiffany Carmona supports efforts of the County of San Diego and County of Riverside’s mental illness stigma reduction and suicide prevention media campaign, It’s Up to Us.”

 Tim Tunner
Tim Tunner is a social marketing technical assistance provider to SAMHSA’s Children’s Mental Health Initiative System of Care grantees.

 Tom Kline
Tom has many years of experience in the Entertainment Business.

 Thomas Orrock
Thomas is an AGPA with the California Mental Health Planning Council.

Traci Barker-Ball
As a crisis counselor for over 20 years, Traci knows how important it is to reach out and help those who are in emotional pain.

 Traute Winters
Working in suicide prevention, I’m honored to be a part of the Directing Change Film Contest judging and to view the films that students have made to help with suicide prevention.

 Tricia Slavik
Tricia is the Founder of @Wit’s End, a web site for parent’s trying to find help for their child with mental illness.  She earned her degree in Broadcasting at the University of Florida and was on-air talent at an ABC affiliate station.  Her career path took her into the world of advertising and marketing where she helped produced PSAs and television

Tristaca McCray
Executive Director of Da’vine Purpose Productions and NERDS RULE INC. a non-profit which provides mentoring that empowers teens and young adults dealing with bullying, suicide, and domestic violence. Tristaca created a Self Image program called “A Better Me” to reach individuals struggling with their identity.

Trent Duncan
Trent Duncan is an award winning independent filmmaker and military veteran interested in the creative development of young filmmakers.

 Vanessa McCaslin
As Chairwoman of the EDRC Vanessa has a passion for Mental Health awareness and with a BFA in advertising has experience with PSAs, Commercials and general production.

 Vera Calloway
As a person with lived experience with mental illness and after having once worked in the independent film industry and winning a screenwriting grant, Vera currently works in Social Services with the mentally ill population in Los Angeles while advocating for expanded mental health services and CA state certification for Peer Advocates.

 Veronica Scarpelli
As a survivor of multiple losses to suicide, Grief Recovery Specialist, and Chaplain, Veronica is very involved in teaching the upcoming generations correct information, as opposed to the incorrect myths that still plague our society with stigma.

 Victor Ojakian
Mental health stigma and suicide prevention reduction does not just happen; we have to proactively advancing change.

 Victor Yates
Victor Yates is an educator, writing workshop instructor, and youth advocate. Recently, he completed a Documentary Workshop at Bright Star Secondary Academy in Inglewood. In October, he led a one-day writing workshop at the University of Southern California for the Models of Pride conference with 23 students (ages 14-24). In one hour, he gave the students a writing prompt and held a traditional writing workshop in which the students critiqued each others work. In August, for the second year in a row, he led a creative writing workshop at Gingling Hilltop Camp in Malibu, CA for twelve students who were impacted by HIV/AIDS. In May, he completed a Writing for Film workshop at Whaley Middle School in Compton. He taught students how to write, shoot, edit, and finalize movies using iPads.

 Vikki McDonald

Vincent M Wales
Vincent M. Wales is a speculative fiction novelist, mental health consumer/activist, and former suicide prevention counselor.

 Whitney Wilson
Whitney Wilson is a Patient Rights Advocate in San Diego County, working to ensure that the rights of consumers receiving mental health services are protected.

 William Danton
Veteran judge of past contests, Dr. Danton is former ACOS for Mental Health, VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare System.

 Yoni Desmond
Yoni works in the field of prevention and believes that the most powerful way to combat stigma against mental illness is by education, brining awareness, and through the voices of students and young people.

 Zima Creason
Zima Creason has been involved in mental health public policy, advocacy and education for over 13 years and has experience with mental health and substance abuse challenges in her family.


If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, are thinking about suicide or are concerned about a friend call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately: 1-800-273-8255This is a free 24-hour hotline.
The contest is part of Each Mind Matters: California's Mental Health Movement and statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students. These initiatives are funded by counties through the Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) and administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. The program is implemented by Your Social Marketer, Inc.
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