Teen Help: What a Difference a Friend Can Make Contest

Message from SAMHSA ( Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration):

Recovery from mental health problems happens in a society of acceptance. Friends can make all the difference by just being there and offering support, friendship, strength and acceptance. We’ve asked people to share their meaningful stories about friends helping another through recovery from mental health problems or during a particularly hard time in their lives.

SAMHSA is sponsoring a new PSA contest that will help to kick off National Prevention Week 2012. We are asking for 18 to 25 year olds who are taking action in their communities to prevent substance abuse to create a 15 or 30 second PSA that embraces the theme We are the ones. How are you taking action? The PSA should address what the young adults are doing in their daily life or in their community to prevent alcohol and drug abuse and promote emotional well-being.

More information about the contest, including the grand prize and contest rules, is available at http://challenge.gov/samhsa. If you have any questions about the contest, please don’t hesitate to ask Tracey Farmer at Tracy.Farmer@samhsa.hhs.gov.

Watch video.

Recovery from mental health problems happens in a society of acceptance. Friends can make all the difference by just being there and offering support, friendship, strength and acceptance.

Through our contest, we’ve asked people to share their meaningful stories about friends helping another through recovery from mental health problems or during a particularly hard time in their lives.

All submissions have been received and are currently under review. Winners will be announced September 15th, 2010. The first-prize winner will receive a paid trip for two to attend the Voice Awards in Los Angeles on October 13; and his/her video will be showcased at the event. Two runner-up winners for video and essay submissions will each receive a new Flip MinoHD™ camera, a great tool for them, to keep sharing stories of friendship and recovery.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched the Mental Health Campaign for Mental Health Recovery to encourage, educate, and inspire people between 18 and 25 to support their friends who are experiencing mental health problems. The prevalence of serious mental health conditions in this age group is almost double that of the general population, yet young people have the lowest rate of help-seeking behaviors. This group has a high potential to minimize future disability if social acceptance is broadened and they receive the right support and services early on.

The opportunity for recovery is more likely in a society of acceptance, and this initiative is meant to inspire young people to serve as the mental health vanguard, motivating a societal change toward acceptance and decreasing the negative attitudes that surround mental illness. Mental health recovery is a journey of healing and transformation, enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential.

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