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Directing Change

Approximately 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 experience mental disorders in a given year and 103 youth in California died by suicide each year.

Directing Change is a student video contest that is part of a statewide effort funded by the Mental Health Services Act to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and promote student mental wellness. Participating students create 60-second public service announcements for suicide prevention and for ending the silence about mental illness by educating the public about stigma, suicide warning signs, words to use to offer help to someone you are concerned about and resources that are available. There were a total of 432 Directing Change submissions, representing 996 students from 112 high schools and 9 UC campuses and 31 counties were received.

Congratulations to Contest Winners and Finalists!

First Place

   "Hey Taylor"
Canyon High School
Student Names: Kimberly Stratton, Stephen Garcia, Cassidy Foelsch and Nicholas Jackson
Advisor Name: Alex Graham
  "Through the Tunnel"
San Juan Hills High School
Student Names: Will D’Epagnier
Advisor Name: Brian Devaney
  "If We All Speak Loud Enough"
Canyon High School
Student Names: Nick Walker
Advisor Name: Alex Graham

Second Place

  "It Does Not Define Me"
Corona Del Mar High School
Student Names: Ellen Naruse
Advisor Name: Michele Gonzales 

Second Place

"Meet Kiersten"
Canyon High School
Student Names: Katie Maynard
Advisor Name: Alex Graham

Honorable Mentions

  "Take Action"
Canyon High School
Student Names: Alexis Guzman and Thomas Foroughi
Advisor Name: Alex Graham
  "Hear Your Heart Beat Think Twice"
NOVA Academy Early College High School
Student Names: Laura Castillo, Antonio Aguilar, Eric Rodriguez and Aurora Garcia
Advisor Name: Clarissa Bustamante
  "Light at the End of the Tunnel"
Buena Park High School
Student Names: Osvaldo Cardenas, Johnny Castellon, Francisco Goroztieta and Candis Johnson
Advisor Name: Andrew Huff
Canyon High School
Student Names: Nick Jackson and Ennis Machta
Advisor Name: Alex Graham
  "Before and After"
Canyon High School
Student Names: Angelina Phan, Kiana Kikuchi and Shari Sirotnak
Advisor Name: Alex Graham
  "Pass It On"
Buena Park High School
Student Names: HaivDo, Kalei Grogan, Jahnel Rico
Advisor Name: Andrew Huff
For a complete list of all California winners and finalist, visit