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Hopedale students win prizes in “Mental Health Matters: Student Expression Contest”

Charlotte Meade, Maddy Sullivan place in ‘written’ category

The Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH) and Massachusetts Health Council (MHC) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2024 “Mental Health Matters: Student Expression Contest” to promote youth mental health. This year’s artists looked inward to explore challenging periods in their lives, the importance of having a trusted ally, and more themes around mental health and wellness. 
Middle school and high school students from across the Commonwealth competed for $2,400 in cash prizes in three art categories: audio/video, artistic still, and creative writing. Seventeen students were awarded prizes for their creative expression of ways they maintain their own mental health, how friends and family help them in each of their lives, and how to support a friend or family member going through a challenging time. 
“The Student Expression Contest, now in its fourth year, is showing us that students understand the transformative power of art to communicate growing awareness of their mental health and how to protect it,” said Danna Mauch, PhD, MAMH president and CEO. “Students are processing their own emotions, supporting their peers, and having honest conversations with their parents and caregivers about mental health and well-being. They inspire our advocacy and recognition of the vital importance of prioritizing mental and behavioral health supports when and where students need them, and investing in programs in our K-12 schools.” 
This year we received over 80 entries from students in 6th through 12th grade. Guest judges included student advocates, staff, and partners of MAMH and MHC, including Omar Irizarry, Director of Cross Agency Initiatives at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and Pam Sager, Executive Director of the Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PPAL). Sample submissions can be found at
“Every young person who entered this competition did a great job, and it was such a difficult decision to choose the winners,” added MHC’s CEO David Martin. “The students confronted some tough feelings and told some important stories about resilience, support, and access to mental health care. We’re happy to have provided an outlet for them to share what they’ve been through and how they support others.” 
This year’s winners include Hopedale students: 
Written – Middle School: 2nd Place: Charlotte Meade 
Written – High School: 3rd Place: Maddy Sullivan 
MAMH and MHC have been engaged for more than 100 years in advocacy to increase understanding, eliminate stigma, and improve support for people with mental health needs. 

About the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health: 
Since 1913, Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH) has worked to improve understanding of mental health conditions and combat disparities in access to health services. MAMH envisions a day when all individuals and families across the Commonwealth have the resources and opportunities they need to promote resilience and protect their overall health and well-being. With a consistent focus on prevention, early intervention and effective treatment, MAMH disseminates knowledge, convenes diverse stakeholders and advocates for policy change. 
About the Massachusetts Health Council: 
Since 1920, the Massachusetts Health Council (MHC) has led a broad group of stakeholders, representing the entire spectrum of care, to foster a strong culture of health in Massachusetts. Collaboration is vital as MHC addresses the most pressing and timely matters of public health, keeps the focus on prevention, and promotes policies and programs that improve and protect the health of the Commonwealth’s residents while striving to eliminate health inequities.
Submitted by the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health