Directing Change



SanaMente is the mental health movement to reach California’s Latinos. It defines a commitment to the Latino community and captures the idea of a growing awareness of the importance of mental health, equity for mental health care, and inclusion for people living with mental illness in our schools and communities.  Together we are creating a movement in which everyone can achieve good mental health and we are building environments in schools and communities that support mental health, prevent suicide, offer information and connect people to help each other before crisis.  We believe in healing through action, the power of collaboration and the strength of diversity.

Entering a film in this category provides you with an opportunity to create a 30-second Public Service Announcement that will be used broadly as part of a statewide social marketing campaign.  Winning films will be featured online and even possibly in movie theatres and on TV.

For more information about SanaMente watch this video:

To ensure you score the highest possible points in this category and for important background information, tools and requirements review the SanaMente Toolbox and review the SanaMente Official Judging form

Films in this category must meet the following criteria:

  1. Films must be 30 – seconds in length (this includes the required end slate). Choose one:
  2. Films must be in Spanish with English captions.  For more information about captioning visit the SanaMente Toolbox
  3. Films must creatively incorporate the lime green ribbon.
  4. Films should tell a positive and engaging story about mental health and encourage viewers to visit the website:

Please include a title slide in your film. You may use this title slide template or you may create your own title slide as long as it includes the required information: Download the Title Slide Template here .

Your film should be about mental health and promote the website Here are a few ideas that can be integrated into your film to help share the SanaMente message:

    • Visit Mental health is an essential part of our overall wellbeing, and allows us to manage stress, work productively, and contribute to our community. Mental health gives us a solid foundation for a complete and healthy life.  Wellness doesn’t mean we’ll never need help. It means we are resilient and focused on recovery. You films can share information about why it is important to take care of our mental health, to not delay help-seeking and visit for more information.
    • Talk Openly/Hablar con confianza. Create a film that talks about how mental health and mental illness is viewed in the Latino community.  Is this something that is openly discussed in families?  Why or why not?  Think about how your film can inspire conversations and reduce some of the incorrect perceptions, also known as stigma, some people have.  Stigma and fear thrive in silence, so why not use your film to show people having difficult conversations, being honest about their experiences, saying the things people are afraid to talk about.
    • Join the SanaMente movement/Únete a SanaMente, el movimiento de salud mental de California. Lime green is the national color of mental health, symbolic of vigorous life and flourishing health and the lime green ribbon is the symbol of mental health.  Use your film to inspire young people across California to join the mental health movement. Show them wearing lime green ribbons, telling their story, and using their power (by speaking up on social media, voting, volunteering in their community) to help create a more equitable California.

Disqualifying Content:

1. Films cannot use terms like “crazy” and “psycho” (or their Spanish equivalent) without explicitly communicating to the audience that these terms are unacceptable. If the film does not verbally communicate that using derogatory terms are unwelcome, the film will be disqualified. Our recommendation is to avoid labels of any kind in order to keep the message positive. Some labels to avoid are:

Mentally ill                                   Cuckoo
Emotionally disturbed               Maniac
Insane                                            Lunatic
Crazy                                              Looney
Odd                                                Wacko

Why this matters:  It is important that films do not reinforce stereotypes and labels that could keep people from seeking help. Although there are many ways to show disapproval when using derogatory terms (i.e. body language), it is important to verbally communicate that using such terms is hurtful and inappropriate. For more information on stigmatizing words and how to avoid using them, visit

2. Films cannot include developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, etc. Though the difference between development disabilities and mental illness is not cut and dry, it is best to avoid making a film about developmental disabilities and instead focus on mental health and/or mental health challenges.  Mental health challenges common to young people include: Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Eating Disorders, self-harm, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as issues that may not have a diagnosis, but have challenging symptoms that deserve attention and care. For a comprehensive list, please visit NAMI CA.

3. Films should be sensitive to racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation and gender differences, with all individuals realistically and respectfully depicted.

4. Films should be careful not to accidentally reinforce stereotypes of people living with a mental health challenge such as: being dangerous or violent, disabled or homeless, helpless, or being personally to blame for their condition. Although popular culture and the media often associate mental illness with crime or acting violently, people living with mental illness are more likely to be victims of crime. It is important to steer clear of perpetuating myths and stereotypes in order to produce an accurate, respectful and mindful film.

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)