Community Based Media Projects
Global Health Equity Foundation seeks to address challenges faced by healthcare providers by serving as a catalyst for community awareness, communication, and involvement. GHEF uses media as a tool to engage communities around issues of health equity, which GHEF calls Community Based Media Projects. These are projects designed with local input and solutions and driven by community leadership. The local and community driven-nature of the projects makes them replicable across states and countries.
GHEF’s Community Based Media Projects
Suicide has ravaged eastern Montana, an area known for its sparse population, extreme climate range, and “cowboy up” mentality and culture. In response to this need, an awareness campaign called Let’s Talk.
Let’s Talk Miles City was created in 2011. It was designed to help people living in Miles City be comfortable communicating with each other about suicide and depression: expressing their own feelings, or listening to the feelings of others. For more information, please visit the Let’s Talk website at www.letstalkmilescity.com.
After a successful campaign in Miles City, GHEF initiated Let’s Talk Billings in Billings, MT Collaboration with Montana State University at Billings in 2013. The project has been adapted to suit this larger, diverse city, but the project’s tested-approach to tackling depression and suicide remains intact. Website forthcoming.
Let’s Talk Miles City Activities
Website and Social Media
- The Let’s Talk Miles City website is a widely-used and clear resource on mental health, depression and suicide
- Let’s Talk Miles City Facebook is live and very active
Let’s Talk Miles City, Educational Media Tool
Let’s Talk Miles City Educational Media Tool (EMT) is a 17-minute documentary tells the uplifting story of how Miles City teens reached out to their peers with the play production, Let’s Talk Miles City, and the resulting play production positively affected the performers, school audiences, and the entire community. The EMT will help us reach people throughout Montana online and through scheduled premiers, so that they too can begin talking about mental health issues, and communities can come together to provide much-needed help and support.
Theater Production “Let’s Talk Miles City” Explores Being a Teenager in Miles City
Let’s Talk Miles City is a live performance created and performed by local teens, under the guidance of a theatre director, Miriam Veltman, and school counselor, Scott Rapson. It explores the topics of suicide and depression among young people. The production is the result of a 2012 summer workshop that introduced Miles City teens to the theater arts. The resulting live performance aims to provide the community with an alternative form of expression for feelings of suicide and depression and focuses on becoming more aware, speaking up, seeking help or intervening to save your life and the lives of others. The teens truly hope the community is inspired by the performance.
Let’s Talk Walks in the Out of the Darkness Walk
As a team, Let’s Talk and supporters walk in the national Out of the Darkness Walk every September. GHEF centers Let’s Talk activities around the weekend of the walk, including premiers of GHEF productions, such as the Educational Media Tool film about Let’s Talk Miles City, the theatrical productions, and the unveiling of the website.
Each workshop is being conducted by a MSUB student. All the students have received a mental health training “mini” session given by members of the Local Advisory Council. Three workshops have been developed and were offered to Miles City young people in summer 2012.
- Saturday, June 30, 2012: a photography workshop, held in conjunction with the Custer County Art & Heritage Center
- June 30, 2012: multimedia workshops will be held throughout the summer
- July 2 – September 7, 2012: 10-week theatre workshop in conjunction with the Barn Players
- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Miles City young people are invited to join two Montana State University Billings students attending the 2-day suicide intervention training in Broadus July 17-18, 2012
Monitoring and Evaluation
A team at Montana State University Billings, directed by Dr. Sarah Keller of MSUB, completed a survey of students at Custer County High School. As described by Dr. Sarah Keller, this research involves a three-pronged approach to identifying strategies for suicide prevention in Montana:
- A quantitative survey to evaluate the community-based media intervention to promote awareness and use of suicide prevention resources
- A qualitative study of the barriers to public health models for suicide prevention and modifications needed to improve community interventions
- A quantitative survey to identify social support factors related to suicide ideation among youth
Dr Keller has brought Let’s Talk to the attention of the National Institutes of Health and received funding from INBRE, the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence program designed to help traditionally underfunded states build biomedical infrastructure, and in this case study the effects of Let’s Talk in Miles City and Billings.
For more information contact Matthew Eisen, CBMP Project Manager, at email@example.com