Making It Easier to Talk about Mental Health; SBS “Says It Out Loud” with Art Contest

One if four adults  – about 60 million Americans  – experiences a mental health disorder in a given year. One in 17 adult lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, depression, or bipolar disorder. One in 10 children lives with a serious mental or emotional disorder. Despite the impact of mental illness on our families and our communities, a stigma persists that prevents many people from getting the help they need.

DSC_7529To empower people living with a mental health issue, Southwest Behavioral Services (SBS) of Platteville works across our communities to break the silence, and Say It Out Loud! By getting people talking about mental health wellness, by drawing attention to barriers that prevent them from seeking or offering support, and by building a larger and more resilient base of engaged community members, SBS’s Say It Out Loud campaign works to dispel the stigma and connect those in need with help that makes life better.

A cornerstone of Say It Out Loud is an Art Competition, held annually during the Month of May, which is National Mental Health Month. The campaign’s theme, Say It Out Loud, is derived from current research that the best way to dispel the common misperceptions about mental illness is creating opportunities for meaningful dialogue. “In sharing experiences, we gain knowledge that chases old myths away,” says Behavioral Health Administrative Director Jennifer Miller Kass. “Mental health issues are very real and can happen to anyone. The right help can change lives, and each time that happens it makes our communities stronger.”

Artwork is accepted May 1 through May 31 and will be featured throughout Southwest Health and other facilities all year long to raise awareness and benefit others. People of all ages are encouraged to submit works in a wide variety of media during that time to help us Say It Out Loud!


  • The competition theme, Say It Out Loud, must appear somewhere on the work.
  • Competition participants must be age 6 or older and live in the tri-county area of southwest Wisconsin.
  • Art media accepted include posters (pencil, oil, pastel, computer-generated made on paper, canvas or other surface), original photography, sculpture, video, short essay, or poetry.
  • All participants receive a Say It Out Loud Competition cash prizes include $200 for best in show, $100 for 1st place, $50 for 2nd place, and $25 for 3rd place.
  • Entry form and artwork deadline is May 31, 2017 at 4:00 pm, delivered to Southwest Behavioral Services at 1450 Eastside Road in Platteville, Wisconsin.
  • Entry forms can be picked up at SBS in Platteville at the above address and are available online to print at



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