This story needs to be told for one simple fact: Suicide is the number one cause of death in young people aged 5-19 in England and Wales.*
This statistic is horrific and yet not many people know about it, or when mentioned to the majority of people, they find it hard to believe. This film focuses on an extremely serious subject matter that audiences need to know about, and we as filmmakers want to raise awareness of. Granted, there are other suicide films/tv series that exist, but the way in which we’re approaching the story by working with industry professionals, charities and organisations to ensure the film is factual and represents the issues facing young people, means we are making something which reaches far beyond cinema.
One key question we ask within the film is, ‘why is this statistic so high in young people’? Much research and evidence leads to a number of reasons, however our focus has been on the fact that the stresses of modern life, leave many young people without a sense of purpose or meaning for life. Although suicide itself is by no means a mental illness, many suicides and suicide attempts stem from some form of mental health struggle, therefore a large component of the film focuses on our lead character, Selena struggling with depression, which in-turn leads her to start having very nihilistic thoughts and suicidal ideologies. She is somewhat aware of these issues but doesn’t speak to anyone about her feelings, or even reveal to her friends or family the sheer despair she is feeling about life.
And this is why we need the film to raise as much awareness as possible about the cause, we want people to start openly talking to family and friends about these issues, without any judgement or stigma. We know there are charities out there working tirelessly to help people suffering with suicidal ideologies and this is why, once the film is made, we are donating 50% of all profits to charities and organisations focusing on teenage suicide, so the film has a direct support for the good work already being done, but also trying to help even further by raising even more awareness.
* Office for National Statistics ONS 2016