SAN DIEGO, May 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Directing Change Program & Film Contest, statewide mental health promotion and suicide prevention program for youth, announces The CW's 'All American' as recipient of its 2020 Award for a Film or TV Show with Outstanding Messaging around Mental Health. The recognition is awarded to the producers, directors, writers and cast of All American, specifically for the storylines of Olivia Baker's struggle with addiction and journey of recovery and Layla Keating's experience with depression and suicidal ideation. Past recipients of this award have included the creators and cast of According to Greta, It's Kind of a Funny Story, Short Term 12, and The Road Within, as well as TV shows Glee and One Day at a Time.
"We want to congratulate everyone who worked on the show for providing the stage for such an authentic and in-depth dialogue about mental illness, addiction and suicide prevention that will truly shape this conversation in our communities," said Jana Sczersputowski, Executive Director and Founder, Directing Change. "With Directing Change, we want to encourage young people to aspire to be courageous and genuine, using their talents as musicians, actors, writers, and filmmakers to entertain, but also to make a difference, such as this show did," she continued.
Showrunner/Executive Producer Nkechi Okoro Carroll and Actors Karimah Westbrook, Bre-Z and Daniel Ezrawill accept the 2020 Messaging Award at the eighth annual award ceremony, which will be broadcasted on Facebook Live May 19 at 7 pm PST. The award ceremony will announce, recognize and screen films from youth winners from across California for their films in the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Matters categories.
Across California, the program received 1,080 films created by 3,475 youth from 190 schools and community-based organizations. As part of Each Mind Matters, California's Mental Health Movement, The Directing Change Program & Film Contest engages students and young people throughout California to learn about the topics of suicide prevention and mental health by creating short films that are used to support awareness, education and advocacy efforts on these topics. The program is one of many initiatives that are part of Each Mind Matters' comprehensive statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students.