Through the Lens of Culture Toolbox


IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember that films submitted in this category still need to comply with the safe messaging scoring criteria of the mental health or suicide prevention categories. The following requirements for the “Through the Lens of Culture” category are in addition to those of the Mental Health or Suicide Prevention category.

For example, the Suicide Prevention category asks filmmakers to communicate a message about what someone can do to prevent suicide such as recognizing the warning signs, finding the words to express concern, and connecting the person to help. For the Through the Lens of Culture category, think about how the warning signs and risk factors might differ for members of different cultural groups.

Review the Official Judging Form for the Through the Lens of Culture category to ensure your film receives the most points possible.

Submission Requirement Checklist:

The following requirements are in addition to the submission requirements for the Mental Health and/or Suicide Prevention categories.

Number One: My film has captioning (even if the film is in English).

  • The film is in English and includes captioning in English.
  • The film is in a language other than English and includes captioning in English.

For more information about closed captioning click here.

Number Two: My film is exactly 60 seconds longThe title slide does not count toward the 60-second limit.

Why this matters:  Many of the films (even if they are not winning films) are used to support local awareness efforts and shown in local movie theaters and even on TV.  We are only able to use films that meet the 30 or 60-second requirement (based on the submission category you choose).

Number Three: My film includes the required logos and resources end slate.

Films must include this end slate which includes a compilation image of logos and the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. This end slate should appear at the end of your film and within the 60-second limit.

Note: End slates have been updated as of January 2022 – please use one of the end slates below.

Number Four: My film is sensitive to cultural diversities with all individuals realistically and respectfully depicted.

Number Five: My film includes a title slide. You may use this title slide template or you may create your own title slide as long as it includes the required information below. Download the Title Slide here or create a title slide using this template.

The title slide is not counted in the 60-second limit and needs to include:

  • The Film Title
  • The Submission Category
  • Adult Advisor Name
  • School or Organization, Club or Other Affiliation Name
  • County (not country)
  • Student/Youth Name (s)

Resources to Assist You with the Content for Your Through the Lens of Culture Film

The following is a small list of resources that are available to assist you with making a film. This is not a conclusive list and if you can’t find the resources you need in the language or for the cultural group you are working with in your film, please contact us.  We are partnering with a wide range of community-based organizations and through their network can hopefully connect you to the resources or information you are looking for.

 General Cultural Resources

  • The California MHSA Multicultural Coalition administered by REMHDCO is a Directing Change partner. Some of their members have joined the Directing Change Through the Lens of Culture Advisory Group and are providing support to the contest.  In addition, they have published a series of “State of the State” Reports on different communities including Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Russian-speaking, Middle Eastern and Southwest Asian Communities, as well as Refugee, and Asylees.
  • California Reducing Disparities Reports – Organizations in California created a statewide policy initiative to identify solutions for historically unserved, underserved, and inappropriately served communities. In 2009, they launched a statewide Prevention and Early Intervention effort, the California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP), which focuses on five populations. These reports can be reviewed here:

Mental Health Fact Sheets

Know the Signs Suicide Prevention Brochures

These brochures are bilingual and can help you with suicide prevention terminology in different languages.

Resources in Spanish

As a Suicide Prevention Resource in Spanish, please use the Spanish version of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Resources for Native American Communities

  • Native Communities of Care brings together California’s American Indian and Alaska Native Wellness Movement to support behavioral health and wellness for mind, body, and spirit. The Native Communities of Care Toolkit is available for download here.
  • Culture and Community: Suicide Prevention Resources for Native Americans highlights culturally relevant and responsive suicide prevention marketing materials developed by tribal and urban Native organizations throughout the US. Other sections describe resources that are helpful in planning, finding and creating suicide prevention programs. Download the guide here.
  • Native Vision – A Focus on Improving Behavioral Health Wellness for California Native Americans

Resources for African American Communities

  • Mental Health America has developed fact sheets and educational materials addressing mental health among African Americans:
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) also has an informative page devoted to African American mental health that includes suggestions and options for African Americans experiencing mental health challenges.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Resources

  • The Trevor Project: The Trevor Project is the premier organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ teens and young adults.
    • Trevor Lifeline – A crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone service available 24/7:
      • 1-866-488-7386
    • Trevor Support Center: A place where LGBTQ youth and their allies can find answers to frequently asked questions, and explore resources related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and more!
  • GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network)
  • Be True and Be You: A Basic Mental Health Guide for LGBTQ+ Youth This brochure discusses caring for your mental health as an LGBTQ+ young adult, including information on sexual orientation, gender identity, and coming out; healthy relationships; common mental health challenges and their symptoms; when to reach out for support; and your rights as a young person seeking support.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resources

  • State of the State Fact Sheet and PowerPoint on the Mental Health Needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community from the California MHSA Multicultural Coalition.
    • Find both resources here.
  • Crisis Text for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center)
    • Those who are deaf or hard of hearing and in crisis can text “HEARME” to 839863. Available 24/7.
  • The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, and for those with speech disabilities.
    • For TTY Users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988
    • Online chat
  • Cultural Diversity Series: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Persons Who Are Deaf

Disabilities and Mental Health

Mental Health, Spirituality, and Faith

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.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Your Social Marketer, Inc.