Driven by a desire to understand why her best friend killed herself at 16, Jacqueline Monetta asks teens to share their struggles with mental illness and suicide attempts. Through her intimate teen-to-teen conversations, Jacqueline, and the audience learn about depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicide attempts, getting help and treating mental illness. Each teen paints a vivid picture of the depths of despair he/she suffered and how talking about it saved them. They assure the audience that mental illnesses, like physical illnesses, can and should be treated.
that has been shaped through each conversation with teens, professors, experts, and survivors. Working with both professionals and teens who have been affected by mental illness or suicide, I have learned the importance of a team who is compassionate, inspired, and dedicated to creating conversation around depression and suicide. After countless hours of research, interviews and conversations, Not Alone has evolved to incorporate all aspects of teen life whether it be in person or over social media. From the initial idea to the final cuts, Not Alone has always been a film by teens for teens.
Through my four years in high school, I personally knew six teens who died by suicide, including my best friend. As the number of suicides continually grew in my community, I felt as though people became more silent talking with teens about teen depression and suicide out of worry that they might then attempt. But after weeks of questioning what is behind teen suicide and why weren’t we talking with teens, I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed answers and I knew my community needed answers.
Teen suicide must be talked about. At least 4,600 teens die by suicide each year. I want to spark conversation among teens and young adults about “the elephant” in the room. As a peer, friend, or community, we must encourage students to reach out and tell them they are not alone. It is my wish to bring together those who feel isolated, open up the eyes of those who are unaware of the severity, and give a sense of hope for those who feel discouraged.”