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Bay Area Teens launch documentary and fundraiser to combat the stigma around youth mental health for Suicide Prevention Month 

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The Community Photobooth team working on the set of their youth mental health documentary, It's Time We Talk About It. (Pictured left to right: Leo Stoll, Madeline Yung, Charlotte Rosario, Saahil Mishra, Sophia Bella; Not pictured: Ethan Huynh, Aryan Mehra, Irene Chen, Alexa Goldman) (Photo: The Community Photobooth)

SAN MATEO, CA — Along with Governor Newsom and his recent Master Plan for Kids' Mental Health, a group of High Schoolers at The Community Photobooth, a youth-led nonprofit initiative that uses photography and filmmaking to address important issues in the Bay Area, are striving to end the stigma around youth mental health and bring a new stigma reduction education program to Bay Area schools by launching an eye-opening 10-minute documentary, It’s Time We Talk About It, in time for September Suicide Prevention Month.

After the death of Katie Meyer (Stanford Women's Soccer team captain) went public back in March, Charlotte Rosario, the 15-year-old founder and executive director of The Community Photobooth, felt compelled to speak up about her family’s story as well. The documentary peels back the curtain of how stigma can impact those with mental health conditions, including Charlotte’s dad, who had suffered from depression. “Stigma can prevent those suffering from a mental health condition from getting the necessary help, leading to potentially regrettable consequences that we hear about today like gun violence and suicide,” says Charlotte.

 

Since the documentary is made by and features youth, Charlotte hopes to engage other teens, as well as parents and educators, in this pertinent conversation around youth mental health in the sports, LGBTQ, and academic spheres. “I believe that sometimes we, Gen Z-ers, feel like only people our own age can truly understand what we’re going through,” says Charlotte. “If youth are leading the conversation around mental health then other youth will listen.” In addition to Charlotte, the documentary features Andrea Kitahata, a member of the Women’s U20 US National Soccer Team and Stanford Women’s Soccer Team, and Terry Delaney, a High School student and member of the trans and queer community. 

 

Today’s young generation has been battling a mental health crisis for years now. 

  • Between 2007 and 2018, the rate of suicide for those ages 10 to 24 increased by nearly 60% (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 

  • Coming out of the pandemic, Gen Z is facing even higher rates of self-harm and suicide: a global study on children and adolescents during the pandemic suggests that 1 in 5 youth experienced clinically elevated symptoms of depression or anxiety, which is double pre-pandemic estimates. 

  • For LGBTQ youth, a survey published by the Trevor Project in May of 2022 reveals that nearly half seriously considered suicide and 14 percent attempted to take their own life in the last year. 

  • The American College of Sports Medicine finds that approximately 25-30% of student-athletes report having a mental illness, and of those, only 10% seek care from a mental health professional. It’s clear that the stigma around mental health is serving as a barrier for youth to speak up. 

The conversation around youth mental health should begin in the classroom. This is why for September Suicide Prevention Month, The Community Photobooth is hosting its 2022 Photoshoot-Fundraiser to raise $10,000 by doing family photoshoots and help the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) in San Mateo County relaunch Ending the Silence, a mental health and suicide prevention education program for middle and high schools around the Bay Area. The goal of the program is to end the stigma by educating youth on the warning signs of conditions, share inspiring stories of recovery, and share the steps they should take to find support for themselves or their friends. As a way to say thank you, The Community Photobooth’s team of youth photographers is offering all donors in the Bay Area free 30-minute photoshoots throughout the month of September. For more information on how to donate and receive your free photoshoot, visit communityphotobooth.com or find the initiative on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

It's Time We Talk About It, a 10-minute documentary made by youth on the importance of addressing the stigma around mental health through school education. https://youtu.be/EpYAJdZWzZ4 

(Video: The Community Photobooth) 

About The Community Photobooth: 

The Community Photobooth is a nonprofit initiative and collective of Bay Area youth who collaboratively raise money and awareness for local community needs by combining photography and philanthropy. Every year, the initiative focuses its attention on 1-2 important causes and takes action by hosting “Photoshoot-Fundraisers”, running community events, and engaging in creative projects like documentary filmmaking.  For the last three years, The Community Photobooth has held over 200 photoshoots and raised nearly $10,000 for important needs like purchasing wildfire prevention equipment at County parks and bringing hundreds of pounds of food to local food banks. For more information, visit www.communityphotobooth.com, ‘like’ us on Facebook, or follow us on Instagram and Twitter.


 

Contact:

Charlotte Rosario

The Community Photobooth

charlotte@communityphotobooth.com

650-436-2577

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Charlotte Rosario squatting down as she takes photos at a family photoshoot. (Photo: The Community Photobooth)

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