Student films showcase why mental health matters

Once again, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) is partnering with local schools for its annual film festival. With the opening of RVH’s Simcoe Muskoka Regional Child and Youth Mental Health program, this year’s festival called for submissions related to mental health well-being and/or the importance of having child and youth mental health services in our region.

RVH received 17 film submissions from local schools related to this year’s theme, Making Mental Health Matter: how are you making a difference? All showcased why mental health remains an important topic for students and teachers. Participating schools this year include Ardagh Bluffs Public School, Innisdale Secondary School, Sister Catherine Donnelly Catholic School, Terry Fox Elementary School and Warnica Public School.

“We believe students in the region have a unique and valuable perspective on RVH and some of the services it provides,” says Suzanne Legue, strategy, communications and stakeholder relations vice president. “After consulting with our colleagues at the Simcoe County District School Board and Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board, we agreed this would be a great opportunity to engage students, especially since we are using technology they already use and are learning about in school.”

Now in its fifth year, the RVH Film Festival started as a way to promote creativity and engagement among staff, physicians and volunteers. Last year, the health centre opened up the film festival to the schools in the region. For staff, physicians and volunteers, it’s an inspiring way to hear from the community it serves while also providing a creative opportunity for students to use the media skills they have learned in school.

All the films submitted by students are available for viewing on the RVH YouTube channel (RVHBarrieON) or at All films will be reviewed by a panel of judges from RVH, Simcoe County District School Board and Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board. The winning films from each category – junior (junior kindergarten – Grade 6) and senior (Grade 7 and up) – will be announced on March 8.

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