The 21-year-old created the 12-minute radio piece for her final broadcast journalism project at Nottingham Trent University.
And it pipped hundreds of entries to be shortlisted for the Mind Media Awards.
Jemma, who has worked part-time as a lifeguard in her home town of Doncaster for the past four years, said some of her colleagues at the pool had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“One guy had to help a man who was having a diabetic fit on the side of the pool. He told me he would wake up in the night in a cold sweat, hoping he had done everything right.
“I hope people will listen to the documentary and realise that post-traumatic stress disorder can affect anyone and hopefully break down the stigma attached to it.”
The audio piece was researched, recorded and edited by Jemma over a two-month period.
She said: “There were a couple of times when I was pulling 18-hour days to get it finished.
“I couldn’t believe it when I got the email saying I was shortlisted, I thought it was another job rejection email, as I had been applying for jobs.”
Having graduated on July 23 this year, Jemma has since landed a job as a news reader on Trax FM.
She said: “I was offered the job yesterday, about two hours before I travelled to Nottingham to talk to the Post.”
Nottingham Trent’s broadcast journalism (BA Hons) course leader, Gail Mellors, taught Jemma in her final year of study.
She said: “Jemma was always a pleasure to teach and it doesn’t surprise me that her documentary has been shortlisted.
“It was a well-made, considered and evocative piece and I am sure she will have a great future.
“We put them through their paces at Trent and Jemma is an example of all that hard work paying off.”
The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the British Film Institute, London, on Monday November 17.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “The Mind Media Awards is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the positive impact that accurate and informed media reporting can have on perceptions of those with mental health problems.
“The judges really have a tough job picking winners and we can’t wait to celebrate with the finalist at this year’s ceremony at the British Film Institute.”