Young people in Basingstoke are drawing a line through the stigma of mental health after launching an art competition.
To mark Mental Health Awareness Week this week (May 14 to 20), the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Youth Commission is launching an art campaign for anyone under 25.
The ‘draw a line through stigma’ competition invites young people to create a postcard size image that represents mental health to them.
The artwork can be a drawing, painting, computer drawn image, words, photo, created in textiles or whatever form allows entrants to express what mental health means to them.
Each year, the Youth Commission consults with thousands of young people to find out about their concerns and come up with ideas to help address them.
Almost half of those consulted chose mental health as the issue young people consider most important above other issues such as cyber safety.
Michael Asante from the Youth Commission said: “Our consultation findings have highlighted the urgent need to educate young people on mental health and illnesses from an early age.
“This postcard campaign will take a big step in finding out how much young people know about mental health, as well as reducing the stigma behind the topic.”
Comments received through the consultation show that there remains a stigma around mental health and young people feel mental health conditions can be difficult to recognise.
Young people also said they need to be taken seriously and not feel judged for seeking help, according to the findings.
Other comments suggest that an increased promotion of available help and how to access it is required.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Michael Lane, said: “This competition will help to raise awareness and I hope attract a wide range of entries that will give additional insight and help lead to better understanding as well as contribute to reducing the stigma associated with mental health.”
The competition is open until September 30 with the winning postcard sized image made into a poster to reduce the stigma of mental health. The artist will win a voucher.