"Not Alone has been a journey
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."
Jacqueline Monetta is a student at Duke University studying Public Policy and receiving two certificates in Documentary Studies and Policy, Journalism, and Media Studies. She is a senator for the Equity and Outreach Committee for the Duke student government and specifically works on policy and events surrounding mental health awareness, sexual assault prevention, and multiculturalism. She is a student research assistant for the Duke's Rutherford Living History program and a member of the Duke Association for Business Oriented Women. As a member of a film organization entitled Students of the World, Jacqueline directs her efforts toward filmmaking to spark social and political change.