United Auburn teen shares struggle with depression in new film
A young member of the United Auburn Indian Community of California who struggled with depression is sharing her story.

Janessa Starkey began cutting herself when she was 13. She was bullied by her peers due to her Indian heritage and ended up dropping out of school.

"I felt like was alone, that nobody cared," Starkey tells McClatchy Newspapers.

But Starkey, now 19, enrolled in her tribe's school and connected with Jack Kohler, a media arts teacher who encouraged her to write a screenplay. The result is the film "Behind the Door of a Secret Girl," which was screened at the recent American Indian Film Festival.

The film was inspired by Starkey's experiences but one aspect -- methamphetamine abuse -- was fictionalized.

Get the Story:
Teenager's film focuses on meth use among American Indians (McClatchy Newspapers 11/16)