Speaking Up About Mental Health! This Is My Story

National Essay Contest

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces 15 awardees for the 2022 Speaking Up about Mental Health! This Is My Story Essay Contest. The contest seeks to start conversations about mental health and encourage young people to access help for mental health issues. Read the winning essays

NIH recognizes these talented essay winners for their thoughtfulness and creativity in addressing youth mental health. These essays are written in the students' own words, are unedited, and do not necessarily represent the views of NIH, HHS, or the federal government.

About the Contest

Mental health is an important part of overall health for across all life stages. However, far too often, symptoms are not addressed or recognized among adolescents.

Speaking Up About Mental Health! This is My Story is an essay contest for high school students ages 16-18 to address ways to eliminate and/or reduce mental health stigma that young people may need to overcome when seeking mental health treatment.

The contest is led by:

National Institute of Mental Health

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

The 2022 Speaking Up About Mental Health Essay Contest is part of an HHS-wide initiative to tackle the nation’s mental health crisis. Following President Joe Biden's State of the Union Address on March 1, 2022, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra kicked off the National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health in an effort to hear directly from Americans across the country about the behavioral health challenges they're facing, and engage with local elected officials and leaders to strengthen the mental health and crisis care system in our communities. More information on the National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health is available at HHS.gov/HHSTour.

Page updated September 21, 2022