WATCH: Film-makers' message: "It's OK not to be OK"

TWO young film-makers are aiming to give hope to people struggling with their mental health with a new short carrying the message: “Don’t give up.”

Josh Wilkinson and Joe Barraclough, classmates from Rotherham College, are the duo behind It’s Okay, which they have now posted on social media.

Josh (17, pictured) explained: “Me and Joe are just two lads from Rotherham that have autism and learning difficulties.

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“We have both been through some pretty tough times, but we never give up

“A couple of months ago, we decided to open our own production team, Sua Productions.

“Our goal was to create one short film a year but we wanted to do something different — we wanted to make short films about real life stuff that’s happening in the world right now. 

“We both spoke about our struggles with mental health and decided to make a short film to spread awareness about men’s mental health. 

“Some men feel like they have to hide it away.

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“We wanted let everyone know it’s OK not to be OK and also spread awareness that men have mental health issues, not just women, and about young people’s metal health.

“Our message (to anyone struggling) is definitely to speak to someone because hiding it will make things ten times worse, and if you can find someone to speak to that’s the perfect thing to do.”

It’s Okay has been made available on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and TikTok.

“Our goal is now to get this new short film out there and let everyone know ‘It’s OK’,” said Josh.

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“We have also just opened up our messages on our Instagram to people struggling and going through a really tough time.”



It’s Okay — shot on a smartphone — took a day to shoot and two days of editing.

Josh added: “I’m really happy with how it’s come out.

“Joe said it was a hard role to play as he has suffered from mental health issues himself, but it was good for him to do it.

“He was a little embarrassed at first as he’s never done any acting but he’s done brilliantly.”

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Josh is studying musical theatre, while Joe is on a childcare course, but both decided to team up outside college.

Josh said they aimed to release a new film every month, adding: “We’re currently writing a new film called Crisis which will be based on the cost-of-living crisis.

“We’re hoping that will be out by February 25.

“It’s doing to be another awareness video as we think it’s better to do films that are to do with real life, with politics and government.”