2013 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 and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Texas held a statewide poetry contest open to adults with or in recovery from mental illness and their adult family members.

More than 80 poems were received from across Texas for this second annual 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!

2013 Contest Guidelines

  • Poems should express the experience of living with mental illness or living with a family member with mental illness.
  • Entries must be 200 words or fewer
  • Entries must be typed or legibly hand written
  • Entrants must be Texas residents who are 18 or older as of May 1, 2013.
  • The submission deadline is May 10, 2013.  All entries must be received on, or postmarked by, May 10, 2013.


Each entry must include the following:

  • Name, address, phone number, and email 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 jennifer.swinton@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 21, 2013, and with the author’s permission, they will be posted on the DSHS MHSA (http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/mhsa/awareness/amh/) and NAMI Texas (http://www.namitexas.org/) websites.


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Last updated March 31, 2014