We asked Hertfordshire males between the ages of 11-21 to enter our competition and create a short story board or film that will help us promote our Just Talk campaign to raise awareness of young people's mental health.
The two winning entries came from Alex Strazza, a 13-year-old student at Verulam School and Louis Webb, a Year 8 student at Richard Hale School.
"When I first entered the competition I thought it was just another piece of homework, but then after looking into it I realised it was really important for boys all across the country to talk and tell people their
problems. I think boys tend to keep problems inside, we want to stay strong and not look weak in a way. But there's no need for that, if you share your problems then it will help everything.
I really enjoyed making the film and I'm a lot more confident as a result!" said Alex:
Louis said, "I entered the campaign becasue I thought it was important that everyone knew what mental health is and that it's important to speak to people if you are feeling a little bit down.
My teacher Jane was a very big part of it; she explained mental health really well, made lessons fun and really helped us all with this project.
I really enjoyed doing it, especially when I had a Skype meeting with the animator to make changes to the final animation."
An emotional wellbeing survey conducted in Hertfordshire last year showed that boys are more likely to say that they would ‘do nothing’ if they had a mental health issue. They also told us that they would like to talk more about mental health but are afraid of judgement or not being taken seriously.
The #JustTalk campaign aims to help young people, especially boys and young men, know that it’s OK to not be OK and that sharing a problem with someone they trust is the first step to feeling better.
Assistant Head of Verulam School, Mrs Harrison, added: "It’s really important for boys to be able to talk about mental health and this campaign certainly helped with that.
"To get 80 entries to a piece of non-compulsory homework was fantastic; we were delighted that four of these got shortlisted and that Alex’s film was one of the two winning films."
Family Worker at Richard Hale School Jane Michelson, added: "This campaign made such a difference; it really got the young people engaged. Many of them didn’t understand mental health before but through this they really got it.
"We had 185 entries, which is amazing! We tested the concepts on year 10 students, who agreed that the films made it really simple and easy to understand mental health and encouraged conversations. Well done to Louis, we are very proud of him."
Check out their fantastic films below