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Texas mental health art contest announces academic scholarship

AUSTIN, Texas — One talented Texas student will receive an academic scholarship for participating in the state’s Mental Health Awareness Creative Arts Contest.

The University of Texas at Austin, Texas System of Care and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced The Quell Foundation Writing Scholarship, which will be available to the category winner who is enrolled in a college or university for the 2019–2020 academic year.

Molly Lopez, director of the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health at UT, has supported the art contest for the past four years. She said she is happy the scholarship will enhance the contest’s ability to advocate for mental health awareness and break down stigma.

“This contest gives Texans a chance to express why mental health is important to them,” Lopez said. “The Quell Foundation’s partnership boosts our ability to recognize writers who have experienced a mental health journey, either personally or through a loved one.”

The Quell Foundation, based in North Falmouth, MA, works to reduce the number of suicides, overdoses, and incarcerations of people with mental illness. CEO and President Kevin Lynch said he believes the arts have the power to heal.

“Art is therapeutic,” said Lynch. “When we use the restorative properties of creative expressions like painting, writing, or sculpting, we destigmatize the treatment of mental health. Through new and creative channels, our mental health care can become more of a mainstream occurrence than a hidden tool used by so many to cope with the day-to-day struggles they face. The Quell Foundation is honored to provide a scholarship to an event that has done such a fantastic job showcasing these ideals.”

The annual contest brings to light an often-overlooked topic to depict why mental health matters. To educate and encourage Texans to always seek help, the contest theme reflects a move toward addressing mental illness with the same openness as all health conditions.

Texans of all ages are encouraged to enter the contest by submitting creative work that reflects this year’s theme in three categories: original artwork, writing and photography.

Participants can submit work at until March 11, 2019. The scholarship winner will be announced in late April.

About The Quell Foundation, Inc.
Based in North Falmouth, The Quell Foundation works to reduce the number of suicides, overdoses, and incarcerations of people with mental illness by encouraging people to share their story, increasing access to mental health services, and supporting first responders in recognizing the mental health warning signs among their own. Visit to learn more about the Masquerade Ball, the “Lift the Mask” documentary or for general information about the Foundation.

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