San Diego County

Directing Change is an evaluated suicide prevention and mental health program with the mission to educate young people about critical health topics through art and promote social justice and health by changing conversations in schools and communities.
Monthly Art and Film Contest
  • Open to youth ages 12-25
  • Deadline: January 31, 2023
  • Free to participate
  • Amazon Gift Cards (up to $300)
  • All art forms accepted (visual art, film, written works, TikTok, original music and more)
  • December Prompt: During the months of December and January, take time to reflect on the past year, what you’ve learned, how you’ve changed, and your hopes for the new year. What changes do you want to see in yourself, your community or the world?
  • Special TikTok Challenge: Share your hopes for the New Year. What changes do you want to see in your community? For yourself? For your loved ones? All TikToks submitted receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card. All submissions will be judged for a $100 first place prize.

For more information, view the flyer.
Enter your work here

December Monthly Prompt:
What are your hopes for 2023?

Submission Categories: Hope, Justice, or Monthly Prompt

Submit to Contest
Annual Film Contest
  • Open to Middle, High School and College Students (12-25)
  • Deadline: March 1, 2023
  • Free to participate
  • Cash prizes for youth (up to $1000)
  • Regional winners advance to statewide round of judging
  • Award Ceremony in May

Submission Categories

  • Suicide Prevention
  • Mental Health
  • Through the Lens of Culture
  • Walk in Our Shoes
  • Animated Short
  • Hope and Justice

“Hope is a Verb”

Rancho Minerva Middle School

Filmmaker: Jazmin Guzman

News and Awards

San Diego County Youth Place in November Hope & Justice Contest

November’s Hope & Justice contest asked youth to reflect on someone who has inspired them, supported them, or used their influence for good. Participants selected a “Mental Health Hero” as their focus, using their chosen artform to highlight someone who helps others see the possibilities within themselves, inspiring them to overcome and do great things with their lives. Congratulations to the youth from San Diego County who placed in the contest!

  • First Place – Film and Written Works: “Callused Hands” by Joslyn Herrera, Sweetwater Secondary
  • Second Place (Tie) – Art: “Reggie; Our Mentor” by Sierra Mercedes Adele Craft Wiseman and Andrew Alexander Hermosillo, General Raymond Murray High School
  • Honorable Mention – Film and Written Works: “The Hero in You” by Joslyn Herrera, Sweetwater Secondary
  • Honorable Mention – Film and Written Works: “Save Yourself” by Itzel Ventura-Medina, Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School
  • Honorable Mention – Hope and Justice: “Justice for Hope” by Jackson Ellis, Helix Charter School

View the full list of November winners here.

San Diego County Students Recognized for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Achievements

The Directing Change Program & Film Contest announced the 2022 regional finalists in the 10th annual student contest encouraging young people to create short films and about suicide prevention and mental health. First place finalists advanced to a statewide round of judging and statewide winners were announced at the virtual award ceremony on May 17, 2022.