AN annual art competition for people with experiences of mental health issues across Dudley borough has been launched.

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) has this year teamed up with Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (BCPFT) and are now inviting residents to submit an entry into the Dawn Jones Art Prize 2018.

Now in its 13th year – and fifth time being hosted by the trust – the competition was set up by Maureen Jones in memory of her daughter Dawn.

Dawn tragically took her own life in 2005, at the age of 25, following a long battle with depression.

Maureen said: “It has been very rewarding to hear so many people say things like they had given up art when they were ill, but that the Dawn Jones Art Prize had inspired them to start getting involved in artwork again.”

The competition aims to offer people with experience of mental health conditions the opportunity to express themselves and create meaningful artwork for people to enjoy, while raising awareness of mental health issues.

Mark Axcell, chief executive at DWMH, said: “It's so important that we keep this special campaign going as it means a lot to those who enter. Since we started the competition, we have seen such a high calibre of work with real meaningful and powerful messages.

“It’s great to see how this rewarding competition inspires people with experience or an interest in mental health.”

Entries, which can be completed using any medium, need to be submitted before Friday, June 29, while the full competition guidelines can be found at

This year, the competition will also be accepting poetry, but all work should be accompanied by a short paragraph about how mental health has touched your life and how art helps you.

Lesley Writtle, chief executive at BCPFT, added: “We are privileged to be involved with the 2018 Dawn Jones Art Prize competition this year. By supporting this competition we hope that we will help raise awareness of mental health and reduce the stigma that is often associated with it.

“Art can be therapeutic for many people and we encourage anyone with an interest in art – whether a beginner or someone who is more experienced – to get involved and enter.”

Two winners will receive £100 in vouchers of their choice, along with the opportunity for their work to be displayed long-term in mental health services across the Black Country.