CARING and awareness-raising secondary school students have made a short film in a bid to help break the stigma surrounding mental health problems.

Ten pupils at Clacton Coastal Academy, in Pathfields Road, have directed and shot a thought-provoking movie called Speak Out to mark Mental Health Week.

In the clip the students, currently in Year 7, Year 10 and sixth form, are seen with tape over their mouths as they hold up cards which dispel the myths about mental health.

The powerful imagery is depicted by Tyson Betts, Melisa Smith, Macey Dawson, Elouise Gee, Amy Sutton, Cordelia Kirk and Freelan Lyons.

Tom Betts, Jack Harvey, and Damien Menzies also star in the film, which touches on a range of mental health challenges, such as depression, eating disorders, and anxiety.

The movie is now being shown across 21 other secondary schools which are part of the Academies Enterprise Trust due to the positive impact it has already had.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

This means the Clacton students’ work will be seen by more than 20,000 young people and further help to raise awareness beyond the local community.

Year 10 student Macey Dawson said: “I wanted to be part of this short film as I felt that we needed to encourage everyone to talk and there is nothing to be ashamed of.

“I know that some people feel uncomfortable talking to teachers and adults but by making this video we can show people of all ages suffer from mental health.

“I believe that, if this video only encourages just one person to talk to someone, then we have achieved what we all set out to do.

“We have started a chain of events that will hopefully lead to the de-stigmatisation of mental health.”

Sixth form student Tom Betts said he hopes the film will encourage more people to speak out if they are in need.

He added: “I felt it was very important to take part in this short video because we realise that we need to look out for each other and not bring each other down.

“This video was made to let people know that they can have bad days, and that is completely fine.

“By just talking about how you are feeling with anyone can help or they can help you find the right support you need.”

David Lees, headteacher at Clacton Coastal Academy has said he is proud of what his students have achieved.

He added: “I am so very proud of the fantastic video that our students have created to raise awareness of mental health in young people.

“It’s wonderful that the students’ film is reaching more than 20,000 young people and helping them understand the issues surrounding good mental health.”

Watch the film by CLICKING HERE

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