Mental Health Monologues – Youth Edition

THE EVENT

Mental Health Monologues – Youth Edition is a virtual theater performance designed to promote conversation about and shine a light on the mental health struggles facing children of all ages. Sponsored by The Youth Mental Health Project™ and to be performed in honor of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 2-8, 2021), “monologues” will be performed by actors and curated from selected stories submitted by or on the behalf of youth. 

We are seeking confidential submissions of monologues, poems, or letters that share stories based on personal mental health challenges experienced during childhood or teenage years, or experiences children or teens have had supporting friends or family who have struggled. 

WHERE

Mental Health Monologues – Youth Edition will be presented virtually using Zoom during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Registration will be required.

WHEN

May 4th from 7:00pm – 8:00pm EST  

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND GUIDELINES

    • HOW: All submissions must be made using our submission form, linked below, and must be in written form.
    • WHO CAN SUBMIT: 
      • Children ages 18 and under are encouraged to submit their stories, but parental consent is required. Parents will need to sign the submission form granting permission for us to use and share the submitted story.
      • Young adults who want to share a written work reflecting back on their childhood or teen years.
    • WHAT: 
      • Submissions should be between 1-5 minutes in length when read aloud.
      • Stories should be well suited to being read aloud since they will be performed by actors as personal monologues; no “polished” essays or academic papers please. Journal entries, poems, letters to friends, are all examples of possible submissions. (See prompt ideas below)
    • Submission deadline: March 31st, 2021
  • By submitting your work, you give The Youth Mental Health Project™ the right to modify the length and style, as needed, for the purposes of filming and the virtual platform.
    • While only 10-15 submissions will be selected and performed as part of the Mental Health Monologues – Youth Edition, additional submissions will be accepted and kept for future monologue events.
  • All submissions will remain anonymous and all contact information will remain private and confidential.

PROMPT IDEAS

  • Below are some Ideas to help you write your story. These are merely examples; you are not required to follow any of the prompts. 
    • What do you most wish you could share with your parents/friends/the world about your mental health experience, but are afraid to do so?
    • What do you most wish people/parents/teachers understood about your thoughts or feelings of anxiety/depression? 
    • What advice would you give to your younger self?
    • What would you hope to be able to say to your older self that you did to improve your mental health?
    • If you were asked if you were okay and you had to answer honestly, what would you say and why?

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

Submit Your Anonymous Monologue

 

FAQ

Q: What is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 2-8)?  

  1. Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is a national campaign that aims to raise awareness of children’s mental health and to educate the general public on the needs of children with emotional, behavioral, or mental health challenges and their families.
  2. Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is held every year during the first week of May, which is National Mental Health Awareness Month. 
  3. The 2021 theme for Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is “Flip the Script on Mental Health.” As we focus on the emotional wellbeing of children and youth during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we see this as an opportunity to change hearts, minds, and attitudes regarding mental health.
  4. For this year’s Awareness Week, the hope is to educate individuals and communities about the importance of understanding that:
    1. Caring for mental health is a vital part of living a healthy, fulfilling life;
    2. Experiencing mental health challenges is common (1 in 5 children struggle with a diagnosable mental health disorder); 
    3. It is important to ask for help when you or someone you love is struggling;
    4. Offering acceptance, support and respect for others who have mental health challenges can make a real difference. 

 

Q: Will my child be expected to read their own piece? Will their face be on camera?

A: NO! All submissions will remain anonymous and the writer will be identified by their first name and age only. (If you prefer, you may use a middle name, nickname, or pseudonym.)

Selected pieces will be performed by professional actors.

 

Q: What kind of material are you looking for?  

A: ANY form of art that helps your child express their mental health experience is welcome.

 

Q: When is the submission deadline?

A: Friday, March 19th

 

Q: Can I submit more than one?

A: Submit as many as you’d like.

 

Q: When will I find out if my or my child’s work will be included in the May 4th performance?

A:  Due to the volume of submissions, only those participants whose pieces are chosen for performances on May 4th will be notified by April 20th. 

 

Q: What happens to my piece if it wasn’t selected for the May 4th event?

A:  We will keep all submissions for possible future performances and/or publication on our website. 

 

Q: Who can I reach out to if I have additional questions?

A: westchesterpsn@ymhproject.org