SAMHSA challenged the public to create videos showing how young adults are helping to prevent substance abuse and promote emotional well-being.

Background Information

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. In order to achieve this mission, SAMHSA has identified 8 Strategic Initiatives to focus the Agency's work on improving lives and capitalizing on emerging opportunities. These initiatives are:

  1. Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness
  2. Trauma and Justice
  3. Military Families
  4. Health Care Reform
  5. Recovery Support
  6. Health Information Technology
  7. Data, Outcomes, and Quality
  8. Public Awareness and Support

Since being established in 1992, SAMHSA has demonstrated that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and substance use disorders. Behavioral health services improve health status and reduce health care and other costs to society. Continued improvement in the delivery and financing of prevention, treatment and recovery support services provides a cost effective opportunity to advance and protect the Nation's health.

For more information about the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s organizational structure, visit: http://www.samhsa.gov/.

SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention

Substance abuse prevention is one of the greatest public health challenges for our country. Research has shown not only which prevention interventions work, but also that prevention is cost-effective. Now, communities and states are using data-driven decision-making as they decide which evidence-based programs, practices, and policies work best to keep their citizens healthy.

As number one on the SAMHSA Strategic Initiative list, the goal of prevention of substance abuse and mental illness is to create prevention-prepared communities where individuals, families, schools, workplaces, and communities take action to promote emotional health and prevent and reduce mental illness, substance abuse including tobacco, and suicide across the lifespan.

Communities and states across the nation continue to invest in prevention because it contributes to better health and improved quality of life.

For more information about SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, visit: http://www.samhsa.gov/about/csap.aspx.

Rules and Regulations

Who can enter the We are the ones. How are you taking action? PSA Contest?

  • Any legal resident of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories, between the ages of 18 – 25 at the time of entry. Individuals of any age may participate in making the video, but the entrant must be 18 – 25 years old.

What is required for my PSA to be eligible?

  • Your PSA must be exactly 15 seconds or 30 seconds.
  • Your PSA cannot have been submitted previously in a promotion of any kind or exhibited or displayed publicly through any means.

Please see the Rules tab above for more information, and a full list of requirements and regulations, including more eligibility requirements and content restrictions.

Judging Criteria

Your PSA will be judged based on three criteria:*

Relevance to the Theme We are the ones. How are you taking action? – 40%

  • Your PSA captures the true spirit of this movement, and clearly shows ways that you and those around you support and encourage your community in an effort to prevent alcohol and drug abuse and promote emotional well-being.
  • The PSA should communicate a clear message about how young adults, 18 – 25 years old, are taking action in their community to prevent substance abuse and promote mental health and well-being.
  • The PSA should inspire and challenge others to take action.
  • It should accurately reflect the theme We are the ones. How are you taking action?
  • All elements of the PSA should coincide with the PSA’s theme and message.

 Creativity and Originality – 40%

  • Your PSA exhibits creativity and original ideas; it enlightens viewers by making them look at their ability to support their community in a new way.
  • The PSA should be original, creative, and unique.
  • The PSA should be memorable.

 Entertainment Value – 20%

  • Your PSA is exciting and captures your audience’s attention. Most importantly, it inspires people to take action!
  • The PSA should be entertaining and engaging to 18 – 25 year olds and hold their attention.
  • The production should be visually strong, and the audio should be well-balanced and easy to hear.

*Entrants will receive more consideration for their content, appropriateness to theme, creativity and persuasiveness than for the technical attributes.

The Prize

The Grand Prize

The winning PSA will receive wide-reaching exposure and national distribution, through online channels! It will also be installed as part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s “Target America” traveling exhibit, where it will be seen by thousands of visitors.

Additionally, if your PSA is chosen as the winner, you and your team (up to four people) will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana in June, 2011, where your PSA will be premiered. Your team will receive round-trip airfare, lodging for two nights, ground transportation, and a per diem allowance.*

Please see the Rules tab above for more details.

* If the chosen winner (and/or team) resides outside of the contiguous United States, an alternate prize will be awarded.

View full rules

How to enter

Before entering the contest, please review the rules and eligibility requirements by clicking on the Rules tab at the top of this page.

  1. Interested participants should create a Challenge.gov account by clicking Sign Up in the top right corner, or going to http://challenge.gov/users/register.
  2. Upload your video to YouTube. If you do not have a free YouTube account, please create one at http://www.youtube.com/.
  3. Access the official submission form by clicking on ‘Post a Submission’ at the top of this page.

Please contact us at newmedia@samhsa.hhs.gov with any questions or comments.

Judges

No avatar 100

SAMHSA and CSAP Leadership will judge all PSA submissions.

Judging Criteria

  • Relevance to the Theme We are the ones. How are you taking action? – 40%
    Your PSA captures the true spirit of this movement, and clearly shows ways that you & those around you support and encourage your community in an effort to prevent alcohol & drug abuse and promote emotional well-being. See Description for full criteria.
  • Creativity and Originality – 40%
    Your PSA exhibits creativity and original ideas; it enlightens viewers by making them look at their ability to support their community in a new way. See Description for full criteria.
  • Entertainment Value – 20%
    Your PSA is exciting and captures your audience’s attention. Most importantly, it inspires people to take action! See Description for full criteria.