2018 Contest Cancelled

1 05 2018

A huge THANK YOU to all of the young people who submitted their artwork, and to all of the adults who supported them in doing so. We love seeing the amazing amount of talent and thoughtfulness put into all of the entries we receive.

Unfortunately due to low participation this year the contest has been cancelled.


Contest forms for the 2018 My Feelings Matter Poster Contest are here!

10 11 2017

The Children’s Mental Health Matters Coalition has now opened our annual My Feelings Matter youth poster contest to entries. Entries will be accepted until March 31, 2018. Finalists will be selected by the coalition and winners will be chosen by your votes on our blog. We will not be hosting an event following the contest in 2018, but please stay tuned for other activities surrounding the contest! Contact Phyllis Greenberger at  PhyllisG@drwi.org with questions.

Get the contest entry form:

CMHMC entry form-2018_Page_1








Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Celebration Recap!

14 05 2015

On Thursday, May 7, the Children’s Mental Health Matters Coalition hosted our Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Event. Winning artwork from our youth poster contest on the theme of “My Feelings Matter” was on display for winners, their families, and the community to admire. Local youth performers provided some fantastic entertainment, while Elizabeth Hudson, Director of the Office of Children’s Mental Health, presented the Governor’s proclamation declaring it Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Wisconsin. It was a wonderful event with a great turnout, that started some important discussions surrounding children’s mental health supports. We invite you to take a look at some of the photos and video from the event below, and we look forward to seeing you at next year’s event!

Video of Proclamation Presentation:

Poster Winners:

Chavez Elementary School Marimba Club:

Lincoln Elementary School Choir Performance:

Madison Country Day School Dance Club:

Presentation of the Proclamation and Poster Awards:

THANK YOU to all of the children and families who participated in this event, and in our “My Feelings Matter” poster contest. Children’s mental health is a critical topic in our community, and together we can ensure that children have the supports and resources they need to cope with their emotions in a safe and healthy way. Don’t forget to check out our Children’s Mental Health Matters Toolkit, and stay tuned for next year’s contest and event!

A special thanks to our event sponsors:

Barnes and Noble–Madison East
Ian’s Pizza
Mental Health America of Wisconsin
Overture Center for the Arts
Project LAUNCH

Mental Illness Stigma of Children, Adolescents and Their Families

9 03 2015

Tally Moses, M.S.W., Ph.D.

When you think of mental illness stigma, what comes to your mind? “Stigma” often refers to (a) prejudice that Postpic_1individuals diagnosed with a mental disorder are faced with when others view them negatively (as less smart, capable, good, worthy, (and so forth) simply because of a label, and (b) discrimination, when individuals are excluded, rejected, harassed disrespected, and otherwise treated unfairly by those who hold such prejudices. The stigma just described is called public-stigma: being mistreated by the public. There is also the problem of self-stigma, when people diagnosed with a mental disorder apply the negative attitudes they know are ‘out there’ to themselves –such that they feel ashamed, embarrassed, inferior, weak, unimportant (and so forth) because they have a mental health condition.


Both types of stigma are extremely harmful to adults, adolescents and children affected by mental disorders, and their families. Individuals diagnosed with a disorder may be deprived of opportunities in education, employment, housing, and socially, (and so forth); and the negative psychological effects of stigma can lead to further isolation and demoralization. Sometimes the effects of stigma are worse than the effects of the illness itself.  Children, and especially adolescents who are concerned about stigma report fears of being rejected by peers, being harassed at school, or treated differently (in a negative way) by teachers and other adults. Family members (especially parents) may be impacted by stigma in somewhat similar ways when they feel blamed, criticized, pitied, isolated or ashamed because of their association.

Does everyone with a mental health condition, or who are related to such a person, suffer from stigma? No. Many youth and adults with a diagnosed mental health condition report mostly support and consideration from others. They may look around and see that they are not alone, and that there are a great many people with mental health disorders who accomplish great things, who live good lives. They learn to accept themselves, to pay attention to the positive, not just the sad and painful. Family members also often find ways to see the person, not the disorder, and to remain optimistic. Why do some people experience more or less public-stigma and self-stigma than others? This is not an easy question. It requires more research.

How can youth diagnosed with a mental disorder and their family members fight against public Postpic_3stigma? Thankfully, many individuals resist and fight against stigma in different ways. Here are just a few:

  • Learn more facts about the mental health condition and about effective treatments.
  • Identify the positive aspects of self and life, and practice seeing the glass ‘half full’.
  • Spend more time with people who are positive, encouraging, or empathic, and less time with those who tend to be more judgmental. Sometimes this involves developing new friendships.
  • Reach out to others who have ‘been there’ and can support and coach you if and when needed.
  • Connect and maintain a connection with professionals (therapists, doctors, case-managers, etc.)  who see you as a full partner in your own recovery, and as full of potential—not simply a collection of symptoms.
  • Help someone else who can use your support and encouragement.
  • Find or develop new opportunities to speak out against stigma, educate others about the facts, and advocate for change in public views and policies.


Postpic_4Here are some advocacy coalitions working on anti-stigma initiatives in Wisconsin:

Wisconsin Initiative for Stigma Elimination (WISE)

Wisconsin United for Mental Health

Wisconsin Family Ties

National Alliance on Mental Illness (WI)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (Dane County)

Mental Health America

2014 Poster Contest Winners

18 04 2014

Thanks to the youth throughout the state who participated in the 2014 My Feelings Matter Poster contest.  We had over 160 incredible entries.  After a week of voting we had over 1300 visitors to the website 500 people viewed the poster finalists and over 3000 total votes on the poster finalists.  Thanks to every one who participated and helped to spread the message that My Feelings Matter!

With no further ado, the community has selected these wonderful posters:


Preschool Entry 6

Preschool 1st Place

Preschool 2nd Place

Preschool 2nd Place

Preschool 3rd Place

Preschool 3rd Place


K-2 1st Place

K-2 2nd Place

K-2 2nd Place

K-2 3rd Place

K-2 3rd Place Tie

K-2 3rd Place Tie

K-2 3rd Place Tie

3rd-5th Grade

3rd-5th Grade 1st Place

3rd-5th Grade 1st

3rd-5th Grade 2nd Place

3rd-5th Grade 2nd Place

3rd-5th Grade 3rd Place

3rd-5th Grade 3rd Place

6th-8th Grade

6th-8th Grade 1st Place

6th-8th Grade 1st Place

6th-8th Grade 2nd Place

6th-8th Grade 2nd Place

6th-8th Grade 3rd Place

6th-8th Grade 3rd Place

High School

High School 1st Place

High School 1st Place

High School 2nd Place

High School 2nd Place

High School 3rd Place

High School 3rd Place

2014 Poster Contest Voting–Vote Now!

8 04 2014

2014 collage

We received over 150 incredible entries! Youth were asked to create are based on the theme “My Feelings Matter”.

Finalists were selected in each age category based on the number of entries.

Please vote on your favorite posters in each category. You can vote for up to three posters per age group. Click on the poster to see a larger picture.

Please save the date for our Mental Health Awareness Day Event on Thursday, May 8 from 1:00-2:00 PM at the Overture Center in Madison to celebrate the winners and promote children’s mental health with performances by area youth. CMHA Day Invitation 2014

Voting is open for one week. Winners will be notified on 4/18/14.

Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry.

My Feelings Poster Contest Deadline Extended to 4/2/14!!

21 03 2014

Get your poster contest entries in (postmarked) by 4/2/14. There is still time to enter.  The top three winners in each category get a prize and their artwork featured on the blog and shown at events throughout the state!

To find out more: CMHAD Poster Contest _2014 new deadline