SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – The Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) is continuing to fight the stigma of mental health with its second annual Healing Out Loud short film competition.

The film competition is open to Utah residents aged between 15-30. Video submissions can be made in one of two categories: one for videos 30 seconds or less, and one for videos 30 seconds to 5 minutes long. HMHI said the video can be anything ranging from original music to spoken word, short story, poetry, or spoken word, as long as it shares a vision of “healing out loud.”

The deadline for entries is April 7 at 11:59 p.m. and winners will be announced in early May. Winners will earn prizes including apple products, adobe software, sports tickets and gear, movie tickets, and more.

The winning submission will also be featured during an event in May and will be integrated into the statewide suicide prevention awareness marketing campaign.

Originally launched in 2022, Healing Out Loud aims to normalize mental health and starting inclusive and open conversations through powerful storytelling in short film. According to HMHI, the stigma of mental health is as strong as ever.

HMHI said in a release that over 65 million – or one in five – Americans cope with mental health issues. In Utah, suicide continues to be the leading cause of death for people aged 10-34 and is the 10th-leading cause of death in the state overall.

“We can and must change the conversation around mental health, especially as stigma and discrimination continue to keep people from addressing their mental health and substance use disorder needs,” said CEO of HMHI, Mark Rapaport, MD. “Starting the conversation is the first step. I applaud those willing to share their story and look forward to seeing this year’s films.”

In the last year’s competition, the grand prize-winning submission came from Joshua Davis of Utah State University. His 30-second short film focused on a girl sitting in class as a rotating camera depicted her mental state through fireworks, a car honking, and her classmates yelling at her. The cycle is eventually broken her classmate taps her arm and asks if she is okay.

According to HMHI, Mental Health is one of the most ignored, downplayed, and misunderstood challenges in America. With submissions like Davis’, HMHI hopes to eliminate the stigma around mental health and help people heal out loud together.

More information or to submit a short film, visit Healing Out Loud’s website.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help can be found by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or the SafeUT Crisis Chat at 833-372-3388.