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Join the Effort to Rethink Mental Health

We’ve written about the importance of mental health coverage before on the What If Post (and also in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).  Recently, we learned about an Ashoka Changemakers contest looking for ideas on how to break down the stigmas associated with mental health treatment.  It sounds like a great thing, so if you have any ideas on how to expand community understanding and involvement in mental health solutions, definitely enter this contest.   There’s a cash prize for the winner, and even if you don’t have an idea, you can still vote on ideas that are posted.  Here are the details, from the contest’s cosponsor, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

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Join the Effort to Rethink Mental Health

For far too long, mental illness has been stigmatized and those stigmas have served as a barrier to innovation.  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Rethinking Mental Health” competition offers an opportunity for new ideas outside the traditional structures to emerge.

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What can you do to participate? Simply go to http://www.changemakers.com/en-us/mentalhealth to do any of the following:

1. Comment on entries from others like you who are deeply concerned about this very important issue and want to get involved.

2. Enter the competition and share your own idea for improving mental health.

3. Nominate an inspired idea or project.

Please note that you will have to create an account on the Changemakers website, but it is free to do so and will only take a minute of your time.

Entries and comments can be submitted until October 14th.  A panel of judges will then select 10 ideas that the Changemakers community will vote on to select the top three. The Changemakers collaborative competition winners-the three finalists that receive the most votes-will be announced on December 16, 2009 and will each receive a cash prize of USD $5,000. As important as the three winners, however, is the dialogue that occurs about mental health and that as many great minds as possible come to the table with fresh thinking and new solutions.

For more information, please visit

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