Stories of Strength and Hope: Preventing Youth Suicide

An informative documentary about an important subject that should never remain silent.

An up-to-date look at Youth Suicide with an examination of the warning signs, statistics and causes, along with possible ways teachers and parents can use to help their child overcome this important social issue. Also includes a look at the media and its handling of the social issue through the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Dear Evan Hansen.

Featuring interviews with

Directed, Produced, Shot and Edited by MAX HECHTMAN

2nd Camera Operator CHRIS TSALIKIS

3rd Camera Operator BRIANA RISTAU

Music by BORRTEX

Shot with the Canon C100 Digital Video Camera and SONY A7s and FS5 cameras/lenses. Edited with Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018.

WINNER: Best Docoumentary –  Long Island International Film Expo (2019)

Official Selections:
Awareness Film Festival (2018, West Cost Premiere)
Chelsea Film Festival (2018, New York Premiere)
NYC Mental Health Film Festival (2018)
YoungFilmmakers New York (2018)
Long Island International Film Expo (2019, Long Island Premiere)


Youth suicide is an important global mental health issue, especially for college students (my age group ages 14 -24). According to the World Health Organization, in their report, “Preventing Suicide: A global imperative” (September 4, 2014), “suicide-related behaviors affect all ages, nationalities, economic levels, and cultures. Every year around the world more than 800,000 people die by suicide. Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15- to 20-year-olds.” According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), which also acknowledges suicide as a global issue, “media reports should include factional information on suicide rates, warning signs of youth suicide and information on hotlines and support services for adolescents and concerned parents.”

I felt the best way to raise awareness for this critical global health issue was to make a documentary that would have an impact on young people contemplating suicide, and their friends and family members to help them and discourage their urge to complete suicide, by telling the story from personal, clinical and crisis prevention perspectives.

– Max Hechtman

Film Stills: