HHSC Hosts Mental Health Creative Arts Contest Virtual Reception

Media Advisory
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Cecile Erwin Young
HHS Executive Commissioner
May 12, 2022
Jennifer Ruffcorn, 512-424-6951

AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission will host a virtual reception to highlight art submissions and contest winners from the Mental Health Creative Arts Contest on Wednesday, May 18.

“The stigma that surrounds mental health is one of the most significant barriers preventing many from seeking help,” said Sonja Gaines, HHSC deputy executive commissioner of Intellectual and Developmental Disability and Behavioral Health Services. “The creative arts contest builds awareness and removes barriers by encouraging open conversations about mental illness. HHSC is looking forward to participating once again in this incredibly important event.”

The art contest highlights mental health and mental wellness as pivotal parts of overall health by showcasing Mental Health Awareness Month in May. The contest and reception are hosted by HHSC, Texas System of Care and the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin.  

This year’s theme is “Why Does Mental Health Matter to You?” The contest will open a conversation about mental health and stigma. The virtual reception will include a slideshow of the winning artwork, a poetry reading, a live question-and-answer panel with the artists, remarks from HHSC executive leadership, and an opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award.

WHAT: HHSC’s Mental Health Creative Arts Contest reception will honor the winners and raise awareness about the importance of mental health.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 18, 2022

WHERE: This will be a virtual reception.

People can vote now on the People’s Choice Award on the Gallery webpage. Winners across all age groups for original artwork, writing and photography will be announced prior to the reception and posted on the webpage for the Texas Mental Health Creative Arts Contest.


New video is available, including produced video of the winning entries, featuring artwork and photography from elementary school children, middle and high school students, and adults.

More Information

Texas Health and Human Services contracts with local mental health authorities and local behavioral health authorities to deliver mental health services in communities across Texas. For more information about mental health resources in Texas, visit mentalhealthtx.org.

Texas System of Care works with local communities to address the needs of children and youth who live with serious mental health concerns. To learn more, visit the Texas System of Care website.