Directing Change

Educating young people about mental health through a film contest.



The Directing Change Program and Film Contest engages students and young people to learn about critical health and social justice topics in an innovative way: a film contest. Over the past five years, over 5,288 young people in California (ages 14 to 25) have applied lessons learned about the warning signs for suicide, mental health challenges, helping a friend, or standing up for others. 328 high schools have integrated the Directing Change curriculum into the classroom.

Founding Story

The Directing Change Program and Film Contest was initially funded through the Mental Health Services Act in California as part of its statewide suicide prevention, student wellness and mental illness stigma reduction efforts. The program was launched as a demonstration initiative as part of Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement and part of statewide suicide prevention efforts. Since then the program has become a non-profit organization.


Our Partnership with
The Giving Gallery

Donations from art sales will be used to promote the Directing Change program in schools and communities with the goal to engage new schools to integrate the program in the classroom and to engage community-based partners to reach youth from low income, rural, and diverse communities.


To educate young people about critical health topics through the medium of film and promote social justice by changing conversations in schools and communities.


To inspire a new generation to know the warning signs for suicide and how to help a friend

Learn More About Directing Change