Will Thompson has produced a short film to spread awareness for mental health.

Comox teen produces film to spread mental health awareness

Will Thompson has been in the local news a fair amount during his teen years – for all the right reasons.

From winning short film competitions, to starting a free delivery service for COVID shut-ins, the Comox teen has represented the Comox Valley well.

He’s at it again, with a new short film, aimed at spreading awareness for mental health.

The two-minute film, titled Lost & Found, discusses how he tackles his own mental health issues, using photography as a tool.

“I am talking about my own struggles (in the movie) but in a way that might help other people who might be having a tough time, and also help inspire people to find that one thing that could keep them moving and getting on with life,” he said.

Thompson said releasing the film, after working on it for six months, was not an easy decision.

“I felt very vulnerable,” said the 18-year-old. “It’s such a look into my personal life, and I have a pretty strong connection with the community. But that’s one of the reasons I wanted to do it, too. Because I wanted people to realize that nobody is perfect and it can be really tough, especially with the pandemic. I think a lot of people find it really hard to talk, to ask for help, and that’s something I am really passionate about.”

Thompson said his family has helped him understand his mental health challenges, and guided him regarding the steps to take.

“It’s helped quite a lot,” he said. “With my mom being a psychologist… it’s just made me realize that holding things in, bottling it in, it doesn’t go anywhere.”

He said despite his apprehensions about releasing the film, the support he has received in the first 24 hours serves as an affirmation that he did the right thing.

“When I released this, I wasn’t sure about the feedback I would get – if any – but in the last 24 hours I have had about 40 or 50 people message me and say ‘hey, I couldn’t have seen this video at a better time. You have really inspired me to reach out to people and talk about my struggles.’ So it has been really, really positive.”

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