A Five-Point Guide To Helping Texas Teens Make An Impact Through Film

This year, Texas high school students have an opportunity to win up to $1,000 by creating a 2-3 minute film that explores the connection between mental health and sex education. Healthy Futures of Texas has developed this five-point guide to help students understand, prepare, and enter the Student Film Contest before the March 22 deadline!

We’re proud to partner with Mental Health America of Greater Dallas (MHA)

1. What is Sexual Health? What is Mental Health?

Sexual health is defined as a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships free of coercion, discrimination, and violence. Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. Sex education is not just about the biology of sexual health; it’s also about understanding healthy relationships, consent, STDs, abstinence, and much more. Together, they give you a deeper understanding of your body, your mind, and your interactions with others.

2. What are some ideas for films?

Students, we are excited to hear your perspective on the topic! Your films can explore your questions (or your friends’ questions), the information that you know, and the information that you feel is needed to educate teens about sexual and mental health. Here are a few film ideas to get you started: 

3. The Talk:

Unfortunately, many teens are afraid to speak with their parents about their mental health. The same is true for their sexual health. And oddly, the reasons are the same: many are afraid to tell their parents because they don’t want to upset them. At its core, the resounding connection between sex education and mental health is the need to have open conversations that benefit your well-being. If you need to talk, check out Mental Health America’s “Time to Talk” toolkit and Talk About It Texas powered by Healthy Futures, for help answering your sexual health questions!! Express the importance of ‘having the talk’ in your films! 

4. Why should I enter?

The Student Film Contest is an opportunity to make an impact through film, helping students form a healthy, shame-free understanding of their sexual health, relationships, and mental well-being. Armed with knowledge and understanding, students can make informed decisions about their lives, advocate for themselves and others, and build healthier communities. Now, let’s talk about the benefits of entering the Student Film Contest! All film submissions are due by March 22. The Student Film Contest judges will carefully evaluate each entry, and the most outstanding films will be featured at the April 7 event. The 1st place film will win $1,000, 2nd place $750, and 3rd place $500. And the first-place winner’s school receives $500. 

5. What are some resources I can use?


Teens told us that mental health and sexual health issues are often intimidating topics to discuss, topics they are afraid to talk to their parents about, and topics they don’t feel are discussed enough in the classroom. The 9th Annual Student Film Contest gives teens a way to share their voices on this issue and empower others to do the same.

Need more inspiration? Watch our 2023 winning films from Texas high school students just like YOU.

We’re here to help! If you have additional questions about the Student Film Contest, slide into our Instagram DMs, or find us on TikTok at @TalkAboutItTexas!


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