Have you or a loved one been touched by mental illness?
Has your experience inspired you to write, paint or express yourself in other creative ways?
NAMI and HealthCentral.com have teamed up to present the first annual "Mental Health and Creativity Contest", a competition aimed at raising awareness of what it is like to live with mental illness. This competition was created with the goal of giving artists and writers a virtual space to express their joy, pain, struggles and triumphs in a creative way, and share their works with one another. Entrants can contribute blogs, essays, poetry, prose, photography or digital photos of their artwork. All submissions will be showcased in the online exhibit, but select entries will be displayed at the 2008 NAMI National Convention, which will be held from June 13-16 in Orlando, FL.
To submit your work:
Create a SharePost and enter your writing in the text box. Submit a photo or graphic by clicking "Insert Image" in the toolbar. For all works, please include a paragraph about yourself, the work you're submitting, and how it represents your experience.
WHO: This contest is open to U.S. individuals who have been diagnosed with and are living with mental illness and to relatives or caregivers of those individuals.
WHEN: Entries are to be posted by May 23rd. Only electronic entries are accepted. NO MAILINGS of entries will be accepted. Winning entries will receive notification in early June; other entries may not be acknowledged. Award winners will be featured in a display at the NAMI Convention in Orlando, Florida, June 14-16, 2008. Additionally, award winners will be featured on the Health Central site. And the top three will be awarded certificates.
HOW: Submissions should illustrate the individuals experience with mental illness. Participants may enter in a variety of ways:
Call out entries will be selected based on creativity and how well they are considered to enable someone to understand the experience of mental illness. Each submission must reflect the entrant's own personal experience and must be original. Entrants may submit only THREE pieces for consideration.
Entrants' registered name, posted by the individual, may be displayed with their work but no other personal information will be featured on the site or with the selected entries.
A committee will identify the selected entries based on:
View all works in the Mental Health and creativity exhibit here.