By Greg Avetisyan |Assistant Sports Editor|
Journalism students across California have the opportunity to win over $4,000 in cash prizes.
Generation Next is hosting a competition that asks students to help remove the stigma behind mental health.
The goal of the competition is to empower the students to represent any form of mental health in a positive way by using their creative Journalistic talents.
“I think it will have a most profound effect on the students making the multimedia or social media programs. They will have to learn much about the multiple stigmas of mental health and the many effects they have on the people who suffer with these conditions. I also think it will bring a newer, fresher perspective to have students working on these projects, rather than the same health journalists and health educators,” said Communication Studies Professor Dr. Jo Anna Grant
Mental health is a very broad area so students must select a specific area to explain such as social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), drug addiction and personality disorders.
“Anyone can get this type of feeling and it doesn’t mean that you’re weak or have a dark personality. It’s not something you have to suffer with for life,” said Grant
It’s good to see organizations such as Generation Next bringing awareness to mental health issues.
“I’m not sure why some people have such a negative viewpoint towards these types of issues,” said student Jesse Richford.
Students can be extremely creative with their submissions and their ideas can be put into a powerpoint, a video and any other forms of multimedia.
“This competition recognizes that today’s generation of students are tomorrow’s industry leaders. These innovative journalists and artists have the tools to change the way we view mental health, rather than exaggerated reporting on mental health issues,” said Marie Gallo Dyak, Executive Vice President, Program Services and Government Relations, EIC on prweb.com.
Generation Next is partnering with TEAM Up (Tools for Entertainment And Media) to sponsor the competition.
TeamUp is a statewide project that brings the entertainment industry professionals and journalists together
“The whole program is focused on reducing stigma and discrimination around mental health,” said Generation Next Program Manager Sabine Sighicell
Projects should be submitted online at eiconline.org. The deadline is Feb. 14.
“There are many benefits, in addition to contributing to a great cause, to participating in the competition,” said Sighicelli.
The three winners receive $4,000 in cash awards, a mentoring program for 12 semifinalists with mental health experts, recognition at the PRISM Awards on FX and submissions will be shown on EICtv.
“I think it’s a great way for students to get involved and help a good cause. Also the potential rewards seem great,” said Nick Daniels.
According to Sighicelli, students and faculty are extremely excited to participate in the event. Sighicelli has even received letters from potential participants as they have been waiting for an opportunity like this one
“We can break down stereotypes with accurate portrayals of mental health issues,” said Dyak
The competition marks a positive turn to mental health issues and Generation Next is excited to get the word out.
“I am excited to hear steps are being taken and look forward to seeing people’s submissions,” said student Josh Geihm.