2014 Adult Mental Health Awareness Poetry Contest

In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, the Texas Department of State Health Services Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division, Mental Health America of Texas, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Texas are holding their 3rd annual statewide poetry contest open to adults with or in recovery from mental illness and their adult family members and friends.

Last year, more than 80 poems were received from across Texas for the contest, written by those living with and recovering from mental illness, their friends, and their families. Five winning entries were selected, along with six poems given honorable mention. Read the poems and learn more about the contest at 2013 Adult Mental Health Awareness Poetry Contest - Winning Poems! (http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/mhsa/awareness/amh/poems2013/).

Children and adolescents interested in participating should submit entries to the Creativity Contest; please see http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/mhsa/greenribbon2014/ for details.


  • Poems should express the experience of living with mental illness, living with a family member with mental illness, or having a close friend with mental illness.
  • Entries must be 200 words or fewer.
  • Entries must be typed or legibly handwritten.
  • Entrants must be Texas residents who are 18 or older as of May 1, 2014.
  • The submission deadline is May 2, 2014. All entries must be received on, or postmarked by, May 2, 2014.


Each entry must include the following:

  • Name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if available). We will only contact you if your poem is chosen to ask for your permission to post it online. All entries will be reviewed with respect to privacy and winning entrants may ask that their work be posted anonymously.
  • Please submit your poem by email, with your contact information, to LitCenter@dshs.state.tx.us, or send by postal mail to:
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Texas Department of State Health Services
RE: Mental Health Month Poetry Contest
Mail Code 2083
909 W. 45th Street
Austin, TX 78751


Prizes and certificates will be awarded to the poems selected as winners, and the top five poems will be announced May 27, 2014, and with the author’s permission, they will be posted on the DSHS MHSA (http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/mhsa/awareness/amh/poems2014/), Mental Health America of Texas (http://www.mhatexas.org),  and NAMI Texas (http://www.namitexas.org/) websites.

Last updated May 19, 2014