SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) in collaboration with University of Utah Health, the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), and the Utah Film Center are excited to announce the kick-off of “Healing Out Loud.”

According to an article published by U of U Health, “Healing Out Loud” is a short film contest for Utah college students to encourage open and inclusive conversations about mental health.

“Student mental health continues to be a concern on all our campuses across the state, and supporting our students’ growing mental health needs is a priority. We hope this contest helps young people understand they are not alone and that there are resources and people to help if they’re struggling,” said Dave R. Woolstenhulme, USHE Commissioner of Higher Education.

Roughly 75 percent of all lifetime mental illnesses are diagnosed by age 25, as stated in the article. Living away from home and forced to establish new relationships, college students are prone to stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

“Over time, open dialogue and creating safe spaces for students to discuss their mental health needs can break down the stigma surrounding mental health and help more young people get the help they need sooner,” Mark H. Rapaport, MD, CEO at HMHI told U of U Health.

Anyone ranging from 18 to 24-years-old is invited to participate in the contest. Video content, which must be tagged with #HealingOutLoud and posted to Instagram by April 5, 2022, can be anything from an original dance or music piece, spoken words, or an art display. The only requirements are to bring on creativity and authenticity.

Along with a plethora of goodies including Apple products and tickets to one of Utah’s most exclusive events of the year, U of U Health shared that winners will additionally have their videos featured during a Mental Health Awareness Month event in May 2022 as well as integrated into a statewide suicide prevention project.

For more information on entry requirements and official contest rules, click here.