5/15 Gen-I NOW: This Is My Story Challenge

NIMHD is seeking insightful essays from U.S. high school students, aged 16 – 18, that describe a teen’s understanding of a specific mental health issue and ideas that can promote better health and well-being in their communities with a particular emphasis on communicating with parents, peers, school leaders, policy makers, and health professionals.

The Speaking Up About Mental Health! This Is My Story Challenge was initiated to address this second aim and then further expanded to include any youth from any culture that may view mental health negatively or not at all due to stigma, lack of awareness and education, and differences in cultural conceptualization of mental health.

Solutions submitted to this Challenge could include:

  • Creative ideas to start a conversation
  • Innovative ideas to remove/reduce/lower barriers
  • Suggested changes in school policies
  • Other areas of concern to individuals and their community


Find eligibility information here: https://challenge.gov/a/buzz/challenge/997/ideas/top#challenge-rules


To participate in the Speaking Up About Mental Health! This Is My Story Challenge, every participant must first register. Participants may access the registration and submission platform at Challenge.gov, or by searching for Speaking Up About Mental Health! This Is My Story on the NIMHD website.

Follow these instructions to submit:

  1. Register for an account on Challenge.gov.
  2. Make sure you are logged in to your Challenge.gov account and on the Speaking Up About Mental health! This Is My Story Challenge.
  3. Click “Submit” and agree to the terms and conditions of this challenge. You must agree to the terms and conditions before proceeding to the submission page.
  4. Include all required information on the submission page: Title, Description, Name, Address, City, State, Zip Code, Phone and Email Address. These fields are marked by red asterisks. Include the title of your essay in the Title field and a brief summary of your essay in the Description field.
  5. Upload your essay which must be typed, no longer than 2 pages, single spaced in a font size no smaller than 12 point. Photos, graphics, or other images are not allowed. To upload your file, click “Browse File” under Attachment on the submission page.
  6. Participants under the age of 18 must also upload as part of their submission the Parent/Legal Guardian Consent Form, completed and signed by the parent or legal guardian of the participant.

For more information on the Challenge, contact MHHighSchoolEssay@mail.nih.gov.