SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Following the deaths of 12-year-old Drayke Hardman of Tooele and 10-year-old Izzy Tichenor of Davis County both who died by suicide due to alleged bullying within the last 4 months, some big names in the community are stepping in to address bullying and mental health among the youth in our state.

On Tuesday, Huntsman Mental Institute and University of Utah Health along with the Utah System of Higher Education and Utah Film Center invite college-aged students to utilize social media to express their vision about combatting mental health.

Doctors at University of Utah Health say according to the World Health Organization, seventy-five percent of all lifetime mental illnesses are diagnosed by age 24. They say college students are prone to stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Living away from home for the first time, forming new relationships, and worrying about classwork all impact their mental health. 

Dr. Mark Rapaport, CEO at Huntsman Mental Institute says the contest serves as a lifeline to those struggling with mental illness. “It’s something to help people understand that mental health deals with the most important part of the body the brain,” says Rapaport.

Healing Out Loud,” a short film contest for Utah college students, entries can include 30 seconds of content posted to Instagram such as a video, poem, an avatar, among other forms of expression. “The more creative the better,” says Dr. Rapaport. The contest runs through April 5.

Entry requirements and official contest rules can be viewed at endstigmautah.org. 

And what’s a contest without the chance at winning some awesome prizes? Officials at Huntsman Mental Institute say participants have the opportunity to win Apple products, film studio time, tickets to the Sundance Film Festival, Utah Jazz, Real Salt Lake, and much more. Additionally, winning videos will be featured during a Mental Health Awareness Month event in May 2022.

Winning videos will also be integrated into a statewide suicide prevention awareness marketing campaign. Entries must be posted and tagged on Instagram by April 5, 2022.

Interested students will need to enter at healthcare.utah.edu they’re also encouraged to tag Huntsman Mental Health Institute @uofuhmhi and, use the hashtag #HealingOutLoud

Click here for a few examples.