The Directing Change Program launched in 2012 and is a suicide prevention and mental health promotion program that draws on developmental and educational theory in its approach. By following the program’s submission guidelines to create short films, narratives or art projects, students and young people learn about suicide prevention, mental health and other social justice and critical health topics; discuss and apply that knowledge in peer groups; and communicate positive, youth-focused, action-oriented messages to peers and adults in their communities. The program is free and supported by the California Department of Education. For more information, visit: www.DirectingChangeCA.org

The Hope and Justice initiative launched during the 2020-2021 school year to give young people who were living through history a chance to express their thoughts and process their feelings around critical health topics such as mental health, suicide prevention, creative ways to measure 6-feet social distancing, their reasons for wearing a face covering, the changes they hoped to see in their community, and more.  These young artists embraced this space, giving us a glimpse into what was happening in the world through their eyes and hearts. A selection of these youth-produced works of art have been curated into a virtual gallery featuring art, written works and films, as well as art showcase videos:

Thank you! We can’t do this work without your support.

Directing Change is a non-profit organization (501 c3) and is funded by county behavioral health agencies through the Mental Health Services Act (formerly known as Prop 63), county offices of education, government grants, foundations, as well as corporate sponsors and individual donations. The program was initially created in 2011 with funding from counties through the Mental Health Services Act and is part of statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA).

CalHOPE and the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI) are programs of the CA Department of Health Care Services designed to help young people navigate the stress, anxiety, and depression they may experience from the many challenges they face. Youth engagement and youth voice are essential in the design and implementation of programs.

$250 sponsorship opportunities are available! Select your favorite art piece, written work or film from the gallery. Your organization name and logo, URL and one sentence description of your choice will be added.