WILDWOOD - Cape May County Healthy Community Coalition, a community initiative of Cape Assist, partnered with Cape Regional Wellness Alliance for their annual PSA Contest to raise awareness about substance abuse and mental health.

“This year, we partnered with Cape Regional Wellness Alliance to raise awareness about resiliency," stated Natalia Wilber, Cape May County Healthy Community Coalition coordinator. "Students were asked to think about health in its broader meaning that includes mental and emotional health, not just physical.

"We also asked kids to take a closer look at their community and tell us about resources available to them, so students created PSAs about places and people that make them feel safe, that they go to for help or just to have fun. Meaningful relationships and resiliency skills are instrumental in substance abuse prevention, so this year’s contest was all about that.”

The contest was open to all students in grades K-12 in Cape May County. Students were invited to create a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) or a 90-second video.

Awards were presented at Cape Assist’s Public Policy and Awards Breakfast April 24. Over 100 people attended. Sen. Jeff Van Drew, Assemblyman Bruce Land, Freeholders Gerald Thornton, Marie Hayes, and Jeffrey Pierson, and Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland recognized the winners.

Winning students attended Dennis Township Middle School, Margaret Mace Elementary School, Middle Township Middle School, Woodbine Elementary School, Wildwood Middle School, Ocean City High School, Cape May County Technical School, Wildwood High School, Richard Teitelman Middle School, and Girl Scout Troup 48102.

Partner-in-Prevention awards were given to Joe Catanoso, for his service as Cape May County Healthy Community Coalition Chair 2015-2017; John Lynch, for efforts in bringing the community together and spreading the message of kindness to local youth; and Cape Regional Physicians Associates and Cape Regional Health System Physicians for their continuing efforts in preventing substance abuse in Cape May County.

Written PSAs were recorded and will be played on local radio stations, WCFA 101.5 and WOND 1400am. Video PSAs will be played on Facebook and displayed online and used in educational programs of Cape Assist.