Students tackle stigma

Pleasant Valley High School students’ video take second place in statewide competition

Two students in Michael Peck's ROP video production class at Pleasant Valley High School—Jake Frank and Sarah Gray—recently took second place in the statewide student video contest, Directing Change, for their one-minute-long public service announcement, “What Defines Us” (still from video pictured).

The competition, sponsored by Each Mind Matters: California's Mental Health Movement and the state Mental Health Services Authority, is part of broader efforts to prevent suicide and reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness. Frank and Gray's video focuses on how mental illness should never be considered a person's defining characteristic. As one of the video's subjects says: “My friends do not see me for my disorder, because it's not who I am—it does not define me.”

The students were honored during a red carpet event at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento on May 19.

See the video at