Directing Change


The information below is for High School staff. associated with participating students. If you are a UC faculty, staff or administrator, please visit the UC Student Mental health website to learn more about system wide mental health efforts

Programs like the Directing Change High School Video Contest help students, teachers, administrators and parents by increasing their awareness and knowledge about suicide and mental health, and provide an opportunity to learn about effective suicide prevention strategies.

Here is some additional information for High School Teachers and Administrators! In addition to supporting this learning opportunity for your students, there are other benefits for schools to encourage their students to enter:

  • Receive cash! The high school associated with winning entries receives a cash prize!
    (1st prize $500; 2nd prize $250; 3rd prize $250.)
  • Win a suicide prevention or mental health program! For every Intent to Direct Form we receive (and that turns into a submission), the associated high school will be entered into a drawing for a free suicide prevention program.

Students can produce the videos either in a class room setting, as an after-school activity or outside-of-the-school setting. However, schools are asked to assist students in identifying an adult advisor at their school. The role of the student advisor is to:

  • Review the video to ensure the content is appropriate for a general viewing audience, appropriate for school use and adheres to your school’s policies, rules, and guidelines.
  • Submit the entry form on behalf of the student(s) online by the submission deadline.
  • Obtain signatures for, scan and email all release and applicable copyright forms for each submitted video to by the submission deadline. If needed, forms may be faxed to 858.408.7130

The advisor does not need to have knowledge of or expertise in film making or the subject matter (suicide prevention and mental health). To help your school integrate this contest into your school activities with ease, and also to provide you with further information on suicide prevention in the school setting we have prepared these materials for you:

  • Suicide Prevention: A Toolkit for Schools: Recently, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released this publication to assist high schools and school districts in designing and implementing strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health. It includes tools to implement a multi-faceted suicide prevention program that responds to the needs and cultures of students.
  • PowerPoint Presentation: This brief presentation is intended to be reviewed by an adult advisor on campus and then shared with students. It is not intended to take the place of a comprehensive suicide prevention or mental health program; instead it offers a brief overview of suicide prevention and mental health as well as details about the contest.

Before proceeding with Implementing this contest in your school, be sure to review the protocol and procedures in place at your school for addressing the needs of students in an emotional crisis or Suicidal.  Chapter Two Suicide Prevention: A Toolkit for Schools Provides guidance about how to do this.

  • Suicide Prevention Program Overview: Provides a list of, and links to, suicide prevention programs and resources registered on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s (SPRC) Best Practices Registry, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.
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 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 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.
Suicide Prevention Awareness CalMHSA Logo nami Logo UC Logo
Each Mind Matters Logo
Copyright © 2012-2013 CALMHSA