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“Untitled” by Marceli O., 2nd Place, High School Original Artwork (2018)

The Texas Mental Health Creative Arts Contest shines a light on an often-overlooked topic and shows why mental health matters. To educate people about how common mental illnesses are and to encourage Texans to seek help when they need it, our yearly themes reflect the move toward treating mental illness with the same openness as other illnesses.

This contest is held by Texas System of Care, Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health at the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Contest Theme

Why Does Mental Health Matter to You?

Entry Categories

Multiple entries are accepted!

Original Artwork

Combines drawing, pictures and/or words to express the contest theme


Story, essay or poem no longer than 300 words based on the contest theme


Original photo that expresses the contest theme

Who Can Enter

Our contest is open to Texas students and adults in four age groups


Pre-K through grade 5

Middle School

Grades 6–8

High School

Grades 9–12


Ages 18 and up

Got artwork? Submit it now!


Winners in each age group and category may receive special prizes and have their work recognized in public galleries, including the Texas State Capitol, starting the month of May. Winning submissions will also be published on contest holders’ official websites.


Judging is based on originality, creativity, and how well your entry expresses the contest theme. Entries containing plagiarized materials will be automatically disqualified. A team of judges will select the top submissions for each category and grade level. Entries, once submitted, become the property of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and Texas System of Care, and may be used for the purpose of promoting awareness of mental health issues. Entries may be posted to the HHSC and Texas System of Care websites and used in promotional materials

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We're pleased to announce the 2024 Creative Arts Contest winners!View the Winners
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