Guidelines for Youth & Young Adult Writing and Mixed-Media Contest My Healthy Mind

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1 Guidelines for Youth & Young Adult Writing and Mixed-Media Contest My Healthy Mind Theme: The goal of the My Healthy Mind contest is to promote a positive word in the community about mental health (including learning challenges, ADHD, Autism), the benefits of treatment, and the need to reduce the stigma around mental health. We want to hear the voices of the youth and young adults in this community and encourage them to share their stories and let us know what is important to them in terms of their emotional health and well-being. Contest Details: My Healthy Mind is a mixed-media contest for youth and young adults aged 10 to 25 in the Guelph/Wellington area. The Instructions to Contestants: Please submit a poem, written essay or single piece of art (mixed medium is permitted but no video submission sorry!) reflecting your experience with the more challenging aspects of emotional well-being. We are looking for submissions that are creative, inspiring and encouraging. They can be related to your own personal experience or the experience of someone close to you. Your art, poem or essay will encourage others to walk the often difficult but important path toward positive mental health. Share your strategies - what has helped you or others cope with negative emotions or stress and have a healthier mind. We want to hear your voice and see your creations! The Particulars: We will accept submissions in three categories: 1. Written Essay (maximum length is 500 words/1 typed page in a reasonable font). 2. Poem (maximum length is 40 lines) 3. Submit a single piece of art work with a caption (maximum length 250 words). Art work can include drawing/painting (created in physical media, not digital), photograph, or mixed-medium. No size requirement or restriction. Submission Guidelines: Free submission. Each entry must be original, unpublished, not submitted or accepted elsewhere for publication, and not entered simultaneously in another contest. Each entry must be in English. Each entry must have a title. 85 Norfolk Street, Suite 209 Guelph ON N1H 4J4 T F E.

2 Judging will be blind. Please ensure that your name or any personal details are not included in your submission document. Instead, each contestant is required to also complete and submit the Contest Entry Form which will connect the title of the piece with the contestant. The organizers will ensure that the Contest Entry Form is not connected to the submission when reviewed by the judges. Notification of receipt of entry will occur by . Only one submission per person. We reserve the right to reject any blatantly inappropriate submissions, which are unrelated to the contest theme or are disrespectful about mental health issues. The judges verdict is final. Contestants under the age of 16 years must have parent permission (see Parent Permission Form). Essay and poetry submissions: o Submit essay or poem as a PDF document and it must include the title and must not include your name or identifying information o Note: if you are not sure how to convert your document into a PDF, please just send it as a regular document and we will be happy to convert it for you before we send it on to the judging panels. o Include the Contest Entry Form (with the matching title) o Include the Parent Permission Form (with the matching title) if under 16 years submission and documents as attachments: OR Mail submissions and documents to: My Healthy Mind Contest Norfolk Psychological Services 85 Norfolk St., Suite 209 Guelph, ON N1H 4J4 Parent permission forms can be scanned and ed as attachments. They can also be mailed in - either along with the submission or on its own if the other contest documents are ed. Art work submissions: o Submit artwork caption as a PDF document and it must include the title and must not include your name or identifying information o Note: if you are not sure how to convert your document into a PDF, please just send it as a regular document and we will be happy to convert it for you before we send it on to the judging panels. o Include the Contest Entry Form (with the matching title) o Include the Parent Permission Form (with the matching title) if under 16 years o For photography, simply attach the photo to the o For other mediums, take 2-3 photos of the artwork and attach them with the other documents

3 submission and documents as attachments: OR Mail submissions and documents to: My Healthy Mind Contest Norfolk Psychological Services 85 Norfolk St., Suite 209 Guelph, ON N1H 4J4 Parent permission forms can be scanned and ed as attachments. They can also be mailed in - either along with the submission or on its own if the other contest documents were ed. o Artwork, along with the printed off caption, must also be delivered or mailed for judges to be able to review the work in person For photography, please provide a photo that is 8 x 10 or larger, along with the printed off caption Artwork can be dropped off at Norfolk Psychological Services, Suite 209, between the hours of 10:00-3:00, with Pauline Busby. Alternative arrangements for drop offs for different dates or times can be made by contacting contest committee organizers at If you are having trouble printing off forms, sending them in, or dropping off your artwork, please contact us by or through Facebook. We will help with getting forms to you and picking up entries. Age Categories: There will be 4 age categories: Contestant age is based on age as of midnight on October 30, 2015 (inclusive). Contestants must reside or attend school in Guelph, Wellington, or neighbouring Counties. Please contact the contest committee organizers if you have any questions. The Judges: Judges are from different service/business sectors in Guelph and Wellington County representing education, community mental health, health and the arts. Prizes: After the contest closes, each contestant will be mailed a certificate for one FREE medium pizza from Domino s Pizza. In addition, all contestants have the opportunity to win door prizes at our Celebration and Awards Ceremony on November 19 th. First, second, and third place winners within each age category and within each submission category (essay, poem, or art) will receive a cash prize, as well as a gift basket with prizes donated by the community. All 1 st prize winners

4 will receive $100.00, all 2 nd place winners will receive $50.00, and all 3 rd place winners will receive $ Any contestant receiving an honourable mention will also receive a gift basket with prizes donated from the community. Recognition: Winning pieces (including those receiving honourable mention) will be displayed at the Celebration and Awards Ceremony. In addition, those pieces will be eligible to be posted or displayed on the My Healthy Mind or the NPS website, as well as possibly in local newspapers and downtown businesses. All contestants will have the option to have their work identified as: Anonymous, by initials (i.e., A.J.), by first name and initial of last name (i.e., Avery J.), by first initial and last name (i.e., A. Jones), or by full name (i.e., Avery Jones). Winners will have the opportunity to be recognized and receive their gifts at the Celebration and Awards Ceremony on November 19 th. However, if they cannot attend or do not wish to be publicly acknowledged, then arrangements can be made to receive their prize at a later date. The Time Line: Submissions may occur between September 15 th until midnight on October 30, Judging will be completed by November 6, Winners and those receiving honourable mention will be notified on November 10, 2015 by telephone and contact. The Celebration and Awards Ceremony will be held in Guelph on Thursday November 19, All contestants, along with close family and friends, are welcome (details to be announced). The committee organizers for this project are: Dr. Linda Bream ext. 224 Dr. Paula Cerveny ext. 305 Dr. Kathryn Douglas ext. 226 Dr. Adelle Pratt ext. 303 Ms. Allison Singh ext. 223 Committee organizers can also be reached at: Important Information to Note: Sometimes, young people want to tell stories about their own personal experiences, which is great. But before you decide to share your story or experiences, we ask that you consider a few things: Sharing and recalling your personal story can bring on strong emotions such as sadness and anger. Talk to your friends, family, mentor and/or teacher to think through the decision to share your experiences, as if selected, they may be displayed, posted online, or reproduced in print. Your submission could be shared with your school, your community and anyone who uses the internet. Essentially, your submission is open to the world and will be there forever. Make sure that you feel comfortable with that. Talk to your friends, family, mentor and/or teacher to think through the decision to share your experiences (there will be opportunities for your submission to remain anonymous).

5 If you are doing the submission as a group project, think about the other people in your group and how telling a personal story makes them feel. Hearing about a friend s personal experience with a mental illness can be really hard for some people. This is especially true for someone who is going through their own mental health struggles. Make sure to think about how your submission will impact other kids. Ideally, your entry should make people feel more comfortable talking about mental health issues and reaching out for help. Stories of hope and recovery are the best way to inspire people and to reduce stigma. What to avoid in a submission: Making light of self-harm or suicidal behaviour Incorrect information (for example: false statistics) Disturbing images Graphic content Modeling dangerous ways of coping If at any point you and/or your friends start feeling stressed, anxious or upset about the project, it is important to seek guidance from your friends, family, mentor or teacher. We want this project to be a fun and positive experience for everyone involved. A note to parents and educators: The experience of writing or creating artwork related to emotional topics may be stressful for the youth involved, resulting in an increase in symptoms for the creator and those involved. Please ensure that those involved in the process of creating a submission are properly supported, comfortable and healthy enough to be discussing the topics at hand.

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