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Help start the mental health conversation

It's healing to talk about mental health.

The Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) and University of Utah Health are joining the Utah System of Higher Education and the Utah Film Center to kick off “Healing Out Loud,” a short film contest for Utah college students to encourage open and inclusive conversations about mental health.

Seventy-five percent of all lifetime mental illnesses are diagnosed by age 24, according to the World Health Organization. College students are prone to stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Living away from home for the first time, forming new relationships, and worrying about classwork all impacts their mental health.

All Utahns aged 18-24 are eligible to enter the contest by sharing their vision of Healing Out Loud in a video 30 seconds or shorter. The video needs to be in a format suitable to share on social media and does not have to be professionally produced (camera phone videos are great!). Content can be anything: original music, dance, spoken words, art, poetry, or speech. The only requirement is to be creative and be authentic! To enter, simply post your video on your Instagram feed, tag @uofuhmhi and add the #HealingOutLoud hashtag, then fill out an entry form. Further entry requirements and official contest rules can be viewed at

Along with Apple products (Macbook Pro, Apple Watches), film studio time, and tickets to the Sundance Film Festival or Utah Jazz and Real Salt Lake games, winning videos will be featured during a Mental Health Awareness Month event in May 2022. Winning videos will also be integrated into a statewide suicide prevention awareness marketing campaign. Entries must be posted and tagged on Instagram by April 5, 2022.

Mental health impacts everyone. The need for care, love, and support is universal. It’s time for us to lift our voices, share our stories, and begin Healing Out Loud, and we need your help, Utes!