Multiple winners to be awarded by NIH and the Calvin J. Li Memorial Foundation.
News Release, National Institutes of Health
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youths aged 15 to 24, yet only about half of young adults with a mental disorder receive treatment. In an effort to address this disparity and further conversations about mental health among high schoolers, the National Institutes of Health invites students ages 16 to 18 years old to participate in the “Speaking Up About Mental Health!(link is external)” essay contest. Essays should explore ways to address the stigma and social barriers that adolescents from racial and ethnic minority populations may face when seeking mental health treatment. The contest is led by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in collaboration with the Calvin J. Li Memorial Foundation(link is external), and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). NIMH and NIMHD are components of NIH.
“Teens have important stories to tell about their experiences with mental health treatment, and we hope this contest will give them an opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas. It’s clear we need to work with them to better understand mental health stigma and the barriers they may face when seeking mental health treatment,” said Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., director of NIMH.
Ideas for essay topics could include:
- Creative ways to start a conversation about mental health or related stigma
- Innovative approaches to remove, reduce, or lower barriers to mental health treatment
- Suggested changes in school policies or practices that could help reduce stigma
- Other areas of concern to individuals and their communities with respect to mental health
This contest was started as part of the Healthy Mind Initiative, which aims to increase mental health awareness and promote suicide prevention in Asian American and Pacific Islander youth, although the contest is open to all high school youths nationwide. The goal of the initiative is to reach a population that may view mental health care negatively, or may not consider it at all, due to stigma, lack of awareness and education, or differences in cultural conceptualization of mental health.
“Every year millions of Americans struggle with mental illness, which does not discriminate,” said Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D., director of NIMHD. “Severe mental Illness occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and access to treatment is a special challenge for disadvantaged populations.”
Contest rules and prize information:
There is no application fee to participate, and entries should be submitted by May 31, 2019 on Challenge.gov(link is external). Winners will be announced on Sept. 30, 2019. The contest is open to all current U.S. or U.S. territory high school students ages 16 to 18 at the time of submission. Some entrants may not be eligible to receive an NIH prize, but may be recognized as a finalist and eligible for a non-NIH cash prize from the Calvin J. Li Memorial Foundation. Prize winners and finalists will have their essays posted on the Healthy Mind Initiative website.
For more information on the rules of the contest and registration requirements see the contest webpage at www.challenge.gov(link is external) or by contacting MHHighSchoolEssay@mail.nih.gov(link sends e-mail).
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.
To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at email@example.com
Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II