February 8, 2021

The 2021 Texas Mental Health Creative Arts Contest is accepting entries across all age groups for original artwork, writing and photography. The submission deadline is March 15.

The contest aims to bring attention to Mental Health Awareness Month in May and help fight mental health stigma. This year’s theme is “Why Does Mental Health Matter to You?”

The contest is held by Texas System of Care, Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health at the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

“One in five adults and one in six children experience a mental health challenge each year,” said Kisha Ledlow, Texas System of Care Project director in the HHS Office of Mental Health Coordination. “While many Texans have experienced a mental health challenge or know someone who has, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding the topic.

“Through this arts contest, we hope to highlight mental health and mental wellness as essential parts of overall health. We also hope to provide a creative space in which people may share why mental health is important to them.”

To submit an entry and read contest guidelines, visit the Texas Mental Health Creative Arts Contest submission webpage.

The artwork will be judged on originality, creativity and how well it expresses the contest theme. Winners from each category and age group will receive prizes and have their work displayed and published on the Texas Mental Health Creative Arts Contest website.

The contest, first held in 2012, grew each year until the pandemic affected submissions in 2020. Last year saw 564 submissions, while 2019 had 773.

Click here to view winning submissions from previous years.

For questions, visit the Texas Mental Health Creative Arts Contest website or send an email.