Sometimes the award or even the nomination you hope for isn’t the biggest prize. With 30 plus years as a broadcast journalist under my belt, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be nominated for an Emmy. It finally happened this week. Our documentary, “If You Only Knew: The Journey Through Teen Depression and Suicide” got the nod from the Mid-America Emmy Association. Did it feel good to be recognized for our work? Absolutely. However, there was something much bigger at play here. Getting the nomination means the conversation about teen depression and suicide will continue. Hopefully, more people will realize we need to talk with our children about their emotional health. Maybe, we can remove the stigma of depression.
That’s the “real” win here. Whether we walk away with a golden statue or not, the message is being received by more people. The topic is becoming more mainstream. More children are likely to be saved. Every filmmaker wants to make an impact. Whether it’s giving people an escape for a few hours of laughter, evoking tears over a heart-warming issue or bringing change by shining the light on a dark and dangerous subject.
Teen suicide is not easy to talk about. It’s not easy to even comprehend. Yet, it’s around us every day. We continue to lose children who are caught in, what they believe, is a darkness they will never be able to escape. We want to shine a light on them so people around these children can tell they are hurting. More importantly we want to shine a light in front of these children so they see a way out of the darkness.
October 1, 2016, a film-maker will walk off the stage with a golden statue. Would it be cool to that filmmaker? You bet. I would cherish the award. Still, it pales in comparison the conversation that’s now underway. Let’s all work together to provide hope and help for our children who are suffering.