House of Blue

Students of PVHS’s audio and video production team, House of BLUE, were recognized countywide for outstanding achievement in raising awareness for mental health and suicide prevention early this month.

In the ninth annual student competition encouraging students to create short films and art projects concerning suicide prevention and mental health, the Directing Change Program & Film Contest recently announced the regional finalists, which included numerous students of PV and Whitney High School, all praised for their artistic accomplishments in mental health and suicide prevention.

The contest, existing statewide, is led by the nationally recognized California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA). The coalition develops, funds, and implements educational programs and mental health services at a local, regional, and statewide range, and efficiently and effectively delivers mental health and supportive services to those in need.

The contest hopes to expand awareness of the warning signs for suicide and inspire a new generation to express how they cope through difficult times. Directing Change aspires to ensure students will give support to peers who need it, now something of greater importance as, evidently, mental health levels have declined in the midst of global health and social events.

This year, the Directing Change Film Contest promoted “Hope and Justice.” Shanti Bond-Martinez, Senior Program Manager, commented on the new category, stating that it “goes a step beyond our traditional submission categories around mental health and suicide prevention to make the connection between social justice and wellness.”

She continued, “Young people are looking for ways to share what they are experiencing, how they are coping, and to explore what drives them to stay hopeful for the future. Hope & Justice is an opportunity for youth living through history to express their feelings and to inspire others through art.”

Commenting on the results of the contest, Bond-Martinez said, “our youth filmmakers created inspiring, educational films that helped them to stay hopeful and reminded their peers they are not alone. Their determination to create despite all they endured shows how truly resilient they are. This flexibility and strength will no doubt benefit them as they manage through grief, loss, uncertainty, and the transition to a changed post-pandemic world.”

Throughout California, 1,817 youth from 136 schools and community-based organizations representing 23 counties and Tri-city submitted nearly one-thousand film entries.

Find these videos and more on the House of Blue Youtube channel.