Kids Get a Voice about Mental Health

January 2012 Update: The movie is titled The Road Back and will premiere at Gracie Theater in Bangor on March 21st! Details to follow along with the premiere of the trailer.

Depression is Common Amongst Teens

The Davis Family Foundation Commits $20,000 to Support Young People in Creating a Film that Will Educate, Inspire and Spark Action. And Spring Harbor Hospital joins as a project sponsor connecting the two major mental health hospital and treatment facilities in the state.

Acadia Hospital and Project AWARE have received funding for creating a film about depression and anxiety amongst teens. The educational movie will focus on decreasing stigma and increasing early intervention and prevention.

Stigma is toxic – it frequently delays and often prevents young people from getting help for mental health issues.  It perpetuates itself and leads to apprehension and avoidance of people with mental disorders.  It reduces access to resources and leads to low self-esteem, isolation, and hopelessness. Kids are affected every day by anxiety and depression but unable to ask for help due to the fear of what peers and adults will think.

“He did not seem like the kid who would have problems” Teen Focus Group Participant

The Acadia Hospital, Project AWARE and now Spring Harbor Hospital will collaborate to develop and produce an innovative 20 – 30 minute video that engages, educates and empowers teens to address stigma about mental illness and the impact and consequences of anxiety disorders and depression.

Youth are Ready to Express their Gifts and Passions

This project will improve understanding of mental health issues and their impact on overall health status.  It will empower young people, build positive relationships, and make a difference in the lives of peers, families and community.

This unique project holds potential to directly influence large numbers of Maine middle and high school students and their families through the distribution of the movie to public schools, teacher in-services, student assemblies and public service announcements. The DVD will be developed with a brief facilitator’s guide to support presenters in working with young people and adults during viewing and follow-up sessions.

“I need more help, but don’t know where to get it.” Teen Focus Group Participant

The teens and young adults involved in this project will have the opportunity to learn film production while producing a high quality video that addresses a pervasive health issue. With the support of healthcare and other professionals, teens will learn script development, production and technical skills for all stages of video production with special attention paid to team building, youth leadership, and collaboration. Acadia Hospital has facilitated focus groups for concept development, and will help provide clinical content, resources, development of educational materials/guides, in-service training, and marketing/distribution.  Project AWARE will facilitate script development, casting, set, and artistic details. PA will also team up with Gum Spirits Productions which provides filming, editing and more. Gum Spirits is recognized for producing high quality video including feature length films.

Teens on the Set of Influenced

Local schools and individuals living with mental disorders will participate in focus groups, and as crew, writers, and actors.

Currently in pre-production, the movie will likely be filmed in the Fall of 2011. Contact us to get involved!

Project AWARE teen created movies to-date:
April’s Heart
Untold Stories: the Truth about Bullying and Harassment

“I stayed silent for a long time” Teen Focus Group Participant

For more info contact: Carl Lakari at Project AWARE or Alan Comeau at Acadia Hospital.

One Response to “Kids Get a Voice about Mental Health”