By Franklin Pierce University Student Correspondents
Granite State News Collaborative
High school students gathered recently in Concord for Dartmouth Hitchcock Health’s Film Festival to talk about the issues that impact their mental and behavioral health, and to start the search for solutions.
There were fifty entries into the film festival, twenty-six of them being videos and the other twenty-four being written submissions consisting of poems or short essays. The videos and essays helped promote mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, and many more.
The festival recognized the top ten submissions, these people were then rewarded a check for $250. The winner was rewarded with the $250 as well as being the honorary guest to the Minor League Fishercats to throw out the first pitch.
After the entries were shown to the crowd, they were broken off into small groups based upon their age group to talk about their thoughts on mental health. Throughout the open conversations students shared their thoughts about what they knew already about mental health.
Common themes came up during the conversation as students were actively engaging in an open-ended conversations.
Nicholas Fragos, Goffstown senior, said, “Events such as this film festival can have such a significant direct impact on communities.”
Students stressed, stating, that the barriers that most kids face are the insecurities they face, because jokes are commonly made towards self-harm and depression. Students are sometimes oblivious to others that are facing hardships outside of school and don’t realize the impact that they have on those kids.
“I think it is important to know that you are not alone and that everyone are there for each other which can make people facing these hardships easier to deal with”, said Elizabeth Ashford, senior at Goffstown.
Sports teams represented a very strong outlet to the students, saying, it is a place to forget about issues going on and can help cope with unfortunate situations. Having almost another family has helped people build stronger relationships. Students then shared their advice and opinions to help promote ways to start going in a positive direction, and help people with mental health issues not feel helpless.
Watch Contest Film Finalist Entries Below