#DepressionHurts Irish Twitter video wins US award

1 May 2012

#DepressionHurts, an Irish film made with the support of volunteers gathered via Twitter, has won a prestigious Award of Merit from the Best Shorts Competition in California.

The project and film has been made with the support of volunteers from social media network Twitter, who together with producer Norah Bohan and director Alan Lavender helped co-ordinate Ireland’s first 24/7 Twitter helpline for depression and suicide, which ran for the nine days of Christmas and New Year 2011.

The award was given for the special purpose video created by a volunteer team to highlight awareness of mental illness and depression.

‘It Starts With You’

Lavender said: “We called the video ‘It Starts With You’ – because it does! It’s how YOU think and behave that either adds to the hurt of depression or suicide or helps the sufferers. We know to change attitude and remove stigma to depression and suicide, ‘It Starts With You’ and we hope lots of ‘You’ will decide to be part of the change.

”Winning the Best Shorts Award of Merit is a tremendous boost to our team. It will certainly help us continue with our important project,” Lavender said.

The Best Shorts Competition recognises film professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film industry.


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years