Young people celebrated for their creativity and commitment to promoting positive mental health in Frame of Mind awards ceremony

Students from Enniscorthy Youthreach Spring Valley, Enniscorthy, County Wexford, were awarded a prize at a special screening in the Irish Film Institute on 30 April as Walk in My Shoes crowned the winners of its Frame of Mind short film competition, in partnership with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland.

Matilda star Alisha Weir led congratulations to the students: “I think everyone nominated tonight should be really proud of themselves, and have done an amazing job. The message of the Frame of Mind competition is so important. It’s a great way for us to use our creativity and our voice to make something together – but most importantly, to talk to each other about things we don’t normally talk about. Congratulations.”

Held annually, Frame of Mind is an initiative of Walk in My Shoes, the flagship awareness-raising campaign of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, that uses the mediums of short film and photography to help to promote positive mental health and reduce stigma around mental health difficulties. In 2024, in celebration of the competition’s 10-year anniversary, Walk in My Shoes partnered with Screen Ireland, the national agency for Irish film, television, drama, animation and documentary, to help to amplify positive mental health messages while also showcasing emerging young talent within the sector.

Some 81 students from nine counties across Ireland were shortlisted in this year’s competition, which was open to secondary schools, special education schools, Youthreach centres and Further Education and Training (FET) centres. The winning and shortlisted entries are:

Short Film secondary schools’ category

This category includes special education schools and special education classes.

  • Winners: Dance into the Light, St Finian’s College, County Westmeath
  • Runners-up: Hope Dies Last, Ardscoil La Salle, Raheny, Dublin 5

Short Film category

This category includes Youthreach and FET-specific learners.

  • Winners: Saving Sadie, Youthreach Ballinrobe, County Mayo
  • Runners-up: Me, Banagher Further Education and Training Centre, County Offaly
  • Runners-up: HUH – Head Up High, Enniscorthy Youthreach Spring Valley, Enniscorthy, County Wexford

TikTok category

This category includes secondary schools including special education schools/ special education classes, Youthreach and FET centres.

  • Winners: Happiness is the most important thing, Our Lady’s Bower Retreat Rd, County Westmeath 
  • Runners-up: Men Matter, Portlaoise Youthreach Ridge Road, Portlaoise, County Laois

The winning short films will now be featured on Screen Ireland’s Short Film Player, adding to its existing curated selection of new, emerging and established Irish talent across short filmmaking and providing an additional platform for sparking important conversations about mental health.

Speaking about this key initiative from Walk in My Shoes, Paul Gilligan, CEO of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services said: “The Frame of Mind campaign uses the medium of film to provide a positive space for students to pause and reflect on their experiences and knowledge of mental health; to harness their creativity; and to raise awareness about mental health, whether that’s by challenging stigma or sharing positive messages. As always, the entries to this year’s competition were of extremely high calibre and highlight the incredible talent, tenacity, and vital role that young people can play in inspiring conversations about mental health.

We were extremely grateful to partner with Screen Ireland for this year’s Frame of Mind competition, working together towards a shared goal of educating young people about mental health and encouraging them to explore new creative outlets and avenues.”

The winning films have been selected by a panel of expert judges comprising Éibh Collins, Shorts Programmer for the Galway Film Fleadh and Film and TV Manager at the National Talent Academies; Michael Doherty, Movies Editor from the RTÉ Guide and Tom Maher, Director of Services at St Patrick’s Mental Health Services. First-place entrants in each category won a €1,000 cash prize for their school or education centre while runners-up received €500.

Désirée Finnegan, Chief Executive of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, said: “Screen Ireland is delighted to support the 10th anniversary of the Walk in My Shoes’ Frame of Mind competition. This year’s initiative has been a fantastic opportunity for students to develop and showcase their skills in filmmaking and storytelling on screen, helping raise mental health awareness. Our sincere congratulations to all of the students and schools that participated, and to the shortlisted and winning films.”

A playlist of all shortlisted and winning films will be available to view on Walk in My Shoes’ YouTube channel, while the winning films can also be viewed here on the Screen Ireland short film player.

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