Spread the word!
We need your help to reach the technology developers who can create an online tool to connect people to resources that can help them stay connected and engaged -- and avoid isolation and loneliness.
We created these materials and messages to make it easy to promote the Mobilizing and Empowering the Nation and Technology to Address Loneliness & social isolation (MENTAL) Health Innovation Challenge. Specifically, the toolkit contains an email template, social posts, recommended hashtags, logos, and graphics that can be used in promotions. Feel free to customize for your audiences.
Creating your own materials? We may be able to add them to the toolkit. Please send them -- and any questions you have -- to MENTALHealthChallenge@acl.hhs.gov.
The deadline to register and submit for Phase 1 for this Challenge is September 8, 2020.
Press releases and announcements:
- Email Template
Subject/Title: Join the MENTAL Health Innovation Challenge to create an online tool that connects socially isolated people to resources
Social isolation has enormous health consequences – it has been found to be as harmful to a person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. People who are socially isolated or lonely face higher risk of hospitalization, heart failure and stroke, dementia, and even premature death. For a variety of reasons, older adults, people with disabilities, and veterans are more likely to be socially isolated and to report feeling lonely. There is a clear and critical need to help people at risk of social isolation find opportunities to connect with others and engage in their communities.
Although there are technologies and social engagement programs that can help address social isolation and loneliness, considerable gaps exist in terms of both awareness and accessibility of these technologies. There is a significant untapped opportunity to increase access and awareness of technologies and social engagement programs.
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the Office for the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other partners (the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Consumer Technology Association Foundation) invite submissions to a Challenge competition awarding $750,000 in prizes for development of an easy-to-use online system that offers recommendations for programs, activities, and resources that can help users connect to others and engage in the community, based on their individual needs, interests, and abilities. The winning system will be announced and demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2021. It ultimately will become the centerpiece of a national public awareness campaign.
The Challenge competition includes two phases with cash prizes awarded in each. A total prize purse of $750,000 is available for this prize Challenge. Up to $150,000 total prize funds will be awarded in Phase 1. A maximum of three Finalists will progress on to Phase 2 with $50,000 awarded to each. If fewer than three Finalists are selected, the $150,000 will be split evenly among teams selected. The winner of the Phase 2 Prize Challenge will be awarded $450,000 and the runner up will receive $100,000. Finalists and the winner are eligible for a bonus prize if they submit a written assessment detailing their continued work to implement, scale, and sustain the solution. Total funds available for the bonus prize is $50,000. The bonus prize submissions will be due September 30, 2021, and details will be provided at a later date.
Register to participate and submit a Phase 1 proposal for the Challenge by September 8, 2020 at 11:59 pm ET.
To view the Challenge submission requirements, judging criteria, competition rules, and to submit a proposal, visit acl.gov/challenge.
If you have questions or want to learn more, please email MENTALHealthChallenge@acl.hhs.gov.
- Sample Facebook post
Facebook: Please tag ACLGov https://www.facebook.com/aclgov/
The Administration for Community Living and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health announce the MENTAL Health Innovation Challenge to combat social isolation of older adults and people with disabilities. $750,000 in prizes will be awarded for development of an easy-to-use online system that offers recommendations for programs, activities and resources that can help users connect to others and engage in the community, based on their individual needs, interests and abilities.
The winning system will be announced and demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2021 and become the centerpiece of a national public awareness campaign.
The Mobilizing and Empowering the Nation and Technology to Address Loneliness (MENTAL) & Social Isolation Health Innovation Challenge is being supported by the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Consumer Technology Association Foundation.
We are looking for IT developers interested in helping to combat social isolation. Register for the Challenge and submit a Phase 1 proposal by September 8, 2020. Learn more at ACL.gov/MENTAL.
- Sample Tweets
Twitter: Please tag @ACLgov and @womenshealth
The Challenge itself does not have a hashtag (the most likely possibilities are in use to mean something else), but we have included a list below that could be good, depending on the details of your tweet.
Twitter Template Message 1
#ITdevelopers - Register for @ACLgov and @womenshealth MENTAL Health Innovation Challenge. We seek an easy-to-use online system to help users connect & engage. The Challenge will award $750K in prizes. Submit by 9/8/20. Visit ACL.gov/MENTAL.
Twitter Template Message 2
#ITDevelopers: ACL and @womenshealth offer $750,000 in prize money for developing an easy-to use online system to help socially isolated adults connect to others & engage in the community. Submit by 9/8/20. Visit ACL.gov/MENTAL.
What else to include:
- Websites to share
- Recommended Hashtags
To reach potential applicants:
About addressing social isolation and loneliness
Note: The following are not recommended because they're in use to mean other things:
(Right click on the image to download.)
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