FRONTENAC — For a couple of days, Frontenac High School’s video production class spent time at the Crawford County Mental Health Center instead of the classroom.

With skills in hand, FHS students went to the mental health center in the spring to create a commercial which was to be used to promote the agency and let people what resources are available, and how to access them. 

“We are very excited and grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Eric Gudde’s Technology class from Frontenac High School,” CCMH Director of Personnel and Marketing  Heather Spaur said. “We feel like the collaboration was a great way for the students to get real world experience and a wonderful tie in for Crawford County Mental Health as we have a large Children’s Program comprised of a therapeutic preschool and after school program which provides behavioral health community based services.”

FHS juniors Abby Butcher Butcher and Alyssa Bright said they had to use their creative skills, conduct interviews and do voice-overs. 

“I think it was cool, it was a good experience to get outside of the classroom,” Butcher said. “I think it is cool to have something you created out and public is seeing it and spreading the word.” 

Gudde said he wanted a project that was “life-oriented” for his students. Gudde said each class whether graphic design or video production has some connection outside of class which gives students hands-on experiences before graduation. 

For this project each student had the opportunity to show off their commercial-making skills and each provided the agency with a commercial. 

“We were very excited and honored that each student took the time and effort to create  commercial,” Spaur said. “Promoting our agency helps to reduce the stigma and raise awareness of mental health.

“We are very excited and pleased with the amount of time, effort, and hard work that Mr. Gudde and the students in his class put into this project.” 

To give each student’s commercial an opportunity to shine, the agency is showcasing all of the commercials on its Facebook page for the community to see. Not only will people in the community have the opportunity to view the commercials, but they can also select their favorite through a contest. 

The winner’s commercial will be spotlight on local television advertisements and on the health center’s website. The deadline to vote is Sept. 25. 

“This way all commercials get exposure, the students can have some fun competition, and we will award the winning student a prize,” Spaur said. “We loved all the commercials and think they are all winners.

“Any time we can spread awareness and reduce the stigma of mental illness, the entire community wins.”