National Alliance on Mental Illness Fairfield is accepting entries from area residents from third grade through adulthood for the "Mental Illness: Through My Eyes" Essay Contest. The deadline for entries is May 15.

This year's theme, "Through My Eyes," encourages writers to share their individual feelings and experiences about how mental illness has affected them or touched their life.

The contest is part of the alliance's effort to promote messages of hope and support, encourage positive beliefs and attitudes about living with mental illness and dispel myths and stereotypes that cause stigma. It is open to residents of 10 area towns, including Fairfield.

Prizes will be awarded in four categories: third through fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade, ninth through 12th grade and adult.

Essays will be judged on the ability to motivate action or inspire change, creativity and originality and writing quality. Winning essays will be recognized at a ceremony on June 5.

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