Youth Voices, Youth Hope is a national, grassroots, youth-driven film project on youth mental health issues. One hundred and fifty youth from three provinces made this film for youth about youth mental health reality and action.
The focus for the film is on the reality of youth mental health issues and youth suicides and the change and action that is need in Canada to support youth with mental health challenges and disabilities.
Film students from York University, Ryerson University and University of Manitoba and a young filmmaker based in Toronto worked together with the Chief Creative Production Manager and the Chief Filmmaker on concept development, scriptwriting, storyboarding, video marketing and distribution strategies. Students from middle school, high school, college and university participated in video shoots that highlighted youth mental health statistics in Canada and actions needed. Action statements in English and French come from international best practices in youth mental health and recommendations from mental health conferences.
Many prominent Canadians provided messages of support for action on youth mental health. Young adults with lived experience of mental health spoke about their history in dealing with mental ill health in the educational system and provided recommendations for actions to support youth.
One father spoke about the recent loss of his 17 year old son to suicide. Shayne Clench’s story reveals the challenges in the educational and health systems that led to his feelings of hopelessness and despair and ultimately to his death by suicide.
We all have a role in suicide prevention. Our video has been made to address the reality of youth mental health and the need for change and action that demonstrates our commitment to the lives of all young people in Canada.