Thu. Jun 1st, 2023

OC Health Care Agency Press Release

Orange County Health Care Agency

Local Students Win Statewide Suicide Prevention Video Contest  

(Santa Ana) – Local students and their high schools will receive recognition for participation in “Directing Change,” a student video contest that is part of a statewide effort funded by the Mental Health Services Act to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and promote wellness.

Proclamations from the Board of Supervisors will be presented to the students and their schools during a Mental Health Board Meeting on Wednesday, May 28 from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. at the Board Planning Commission Hearing Room located at 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd. in Santa Ana.

Suicide continues to be a persistent, yet preventable, public health issue impacting America’s youth.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide was the second leading cause of death in the U.S. among youth between the ages of 12-17 in 2010.  In California, suicide accounted for nearly 23% of all deaths among this same age group (90 out of 344).

“Suicide prevention starts with recognizing warning signs and taking them seriously, said Behavioral Health Services Deputy Agency Director Mary Hale.  “The Directing Change contest has brought attention to reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues and seeking help.”

Students created 60-second public service announcements about suicide prevention and ending the silence about mental illness that featured educating the public about stigma, suicide warning signs, words to use to offer help to someone you are concerned about and resources that are available.

Statewide, a total of 432 Directing Change submissions were received, representing 996 students from 112 high schools, 9 UC campuses and 31 counties.  Congratulations to the following Orange County contest winners:

First Place:
“Hey Taylor”
Canyon High School
Students: Kimberly Stratton, Stephen Garcia, Cassidy Foelsch and Nicholas Jackson
Advisor: Alex Graham

“Through the Tunnel”
San Juan Hills High School
Student: Will D’Epagnier
Advisor: Brian Devaney

“If We All Speak Loud Enough”
Canyon High School
Student: Nick Walker
Advisor: Alex Graham

Second Place:
“It Does Not Define Me”
Corona Del Mar High School
Student: Ellen Naruse
Advisor: Michele Gonzales

Third Place:
“Meet Kiersten”
Canyon High School
Student: Katie Maynard
Advisor: Alex Graham

To view a complete list of local finalists, please visit the Health Care Agency Directing Change webpage or for a complete statewide list, visit California winners and finalists.

Visit Behavioral Health Prevention & Intervention Services to learn more about access to services, community resources and outreach and education.
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By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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