RiverValley Behavioral Health accepting art contest submissions


This article was originally published in the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer on March 6, 2024. To view the original post, click here.

RiverValley Behavioral Health has launched its 2024 Youth Mental Health Art Contest.

The annual contest, which began in 2021, encourages area youth to express messages of hope while raising awareness about mental health through artistic expression.

This year’s contest theme is “Be Kind to Your Mind.”

“We’ve had such a great response to the contest, and it seems like each year word about it spreads further and further,” said Brooke Arnold, director of RVBH’s Regional Prevention Center. “It’s always incredible to see what youths come up with and all of the talent we have in our region. It’s phenomenal.”

Since the contest’s inception, more than 1,000 submissions have been received and more than $10,000 in scholarships and donations have been awarded throughout school districts and youth organizations in the RVBH service area, which includes Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union and Webster counties.

Students in kindergarten through college in the seven-county region are eligible to create and submit a visual art piece that supports the contest theme. Submissions can be a drawing, painting, sculpture, poem, photograph or any other artistic medium.

Winners are selected in four categories — kindergarten to fourth grade; fifth grade to eighth grade; ninth grade to 12th grade; and college (ages 18-24) — will receive a $500 scholarship, with a matching contribution awarded to the school or organization chosen by the winners.

The organization with the most entries will be named “Mental Health Partner of the Year” and will receive a $1,000 award.

Entries must include a completed submission form and be postmarked by April 26. Finalists will be announced in May during Mental Health Awareness Month and will be invited to the awards ceremony in June.

“We are continually impressed with the insight students in our communities showcase through their artwork,” Arnold said. “We had over 600 entries last year, and I’m confident the bar will be raised even higher this year.”

RVBH is also accepting nominations for the Dianne McFarling Memorial Award, which honors the former senior director of the prevention center. It is awarded to an organization, business, nonprofit, charity, school, group, or individual in the region that has shown a commitment to improving mental health in area communities.

“The award is a way to honor Dianne, but also promote the importance of mental well being, with it being something that’s just a part of our everyday culture, and really normalizing it, so that way, we’re taking care of ourselves so we can help take care of others,” Arnold said.

To download an art submission form or to make a nomination, visit www.rvbh.com/artcontest.

Published on March 11, 2024