Manley Highlights Essay Competition for High School Students


State Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, is encouraging local high school students to participate in the Illinois Psychiatric Society’s (ISP) Carl C. Bell Memorial Award Essay Competition.

“The significance of mental health cannot be overstated, especially for high school students,” said Manley.

“We need to encourage students to think about mental health issues and include them in conversations about ways to improve mental health services. I would like to thank the Illinois Psychiatric Society for hosting this essay competition and raising awareness for mental health issues.”

The Carl C. Bell Memorial Award Essay Competition is an annual community initiative for all Illinois High School students. The essay topic this year is: “How has social media impacted your mental health and/or the mental health of your social networks, family, schools, and/or communities?”

The winner of the competition will receive a $500 cash prize and be published in “Mind Matters,” the official IPS newsletter publication. The second- and third-place award recipients will receive $250. For more information or to submit an essay, please visit

During her time in the General Assembly, Manley has worked to improve mental health care access in Illinois. She supported legislation requiring insurers to provide coverage for all medically necessary mental health care, including the treatment of mental, emotional, nervous, and substance use disorders.

Manley is also on the advisory board of the Will-Grundy affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which provides a variety of mental health services to residents of Will County.

“With over a quarter of adults in Illinois experiencing mental health challenges at some point in their life, it is clear just how important it is that residents are able to get treatment,” said Manley.

“While we have made progress over the past few years, there is still more that needs to be done to ensure that everyone has access to care. I look forward to working in Springfield and with partners across the community to meet the mental health care needs of residents.”


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