2023 Statewide Judging - Suicide Prevention

  • Dear Judge,

    We encourage you to seek personal support if you become troubled by the content of this category. If you experience an emotional crisis, there are people available to help you. Please call or text 988 (24/7) to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

    The entry you are judging is a 60-second film in the suicide prevention category. Suicide is a complex and sensitive subject which needs to be addressed with compassion and knowledge. This category has special content that must be included and specific content that must be avoided for the safety of and respect for the audience.

    At any point if you are experiencing technical difficulties with the website, or have questions regarding the category description, please call or email Stan Collins: stan@suicideispreventable.org (619.518.2412).

    In advance, we appreciate your time.

  • Title

    Helping Hands



    Description from the submitter

    Our entry is in the category of suicide prevention. This film is about a friend, Margo, who notices signs that her friend, Lizzy, may be struggling. Throughout the film, Margo notices different signs of suicide that Lizzy is revealing and offers her helping hand in support. Our submission related back to the required content submission criteria by including a resource for suicide, Margo knowing the signs of suicide, and Lizzy not keeping suicide a secret to herself. We also show the two of them reaching out for help in the film, as well as Margo asking Lizzy if anything is going on and having that confrontation.

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  • Safe Messaging Scoring Measures

  • 1. How well does the film communicate a message about suicide prevention that is hopeful and focused on what someone can do to prevent suicide such as reaching out to a friend and seeking support?

    Please assess how well the message is communicated. It does not have to be stated verbatim, but could be implied through dialog or another creative way. Note that it does not have to be one of the messages below, as long as the message is focused on suicide prevention.
    • Know the Signs: Most people show one or more warning signs, so it is important to know the signs and take them seriously especially if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change.
    • Don’t keep suicide a secret: It is ok to break a friend’s trust and share your concerns with an adult if you think your friend might be thinking about harming him or herself.
    • Reach out for help: The film should encourage people to ask for help, reach out to a friend they are concerned about, or if a person talks about ending his or her life, to take him or her seriously and connect him or her to help.
    • Find the words: Asking someone "Are you thinking about suicide" will not put thoughts of suicide in his or her mind. In face, asking this direct question is important.
  • Please enter a number from 0 to 25.
  • 2. Does the film do a good job of not oversimplifying the causes for suicide or how to get better?

    Note: It is okay to talk about life problems that may increase a person’s risk of suicide such as family issues (divorce, abuse) or social issues (bullying, break ups), and to talk about these life problems as a possible contributing factor to why a young person might be feeling hopeless, drinking more or isolating themselves (which are warning signs for suicide), but the film should not point to just one of these events as the cause of suicide. The truth is that not one of these events “causes” suicide, usually a person is dealing with multiple tough situations and is showing warning signs.

    Although picking up someone’s books when they fall is a nice metaphor, it often takes more than “a simple act of kindness” to save a life. Remember that many people don’t know how they should respond to someone who is having thoughts of suicide. Use this opportunity to educate your fellow students and others about what to do, such as talking directly about suicide, seeking help from a trusted adult or calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

  • Please enter a number from 0 to 15.
  • Technical and Creative Measures

  • Please enter a number from 0 to 5.
  • Please enter a number from 0 to 5.
  • Please enter a number from 0 to 5.
  • Please enter a number from 0 to 5.
If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, are thinking about suicide or are concerned about a friend, call or text 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (24/7)
Directing Change 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 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.
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