Open Screenplay & Layla Care bring back screenwriting contest on student mental health

April 1, 2022

Layla’s Annual Mental Health Screenwriting Competition is back, shedding light on student mental health

TORONTO, April 1, 2022 – Layla Care and Open Screenplay have partnered on another mental health screenwriting contest, this year’s theme being Every student has a story. This contest is aimed at fostering public awareness and conversation around mental health to break the stigma, and to give a creative space for students to navigate their mental health journey. In sharing, we hope others can see a piece of their identity or a part of themselves in the selected screenplay, that can ultimately help others know that they are not alone in their experiences.

The contest invites current and former students to write a short film screenplay exploring mental health in a university or college setting with cash prizes being given to the top 3 winners. We’ve offered ideas to be considered such as: What does it look like to be diagnosed with a mental illness while at university? How does being in school create additional challenges for your mental health? How has being a student felt more lonely during COVID-19? As student’s have faced isolation and increased loneliness over the past couple of years, we feel that now is the time for students to articulate and reflect on their experiences. 

“At Layla, we believe in the power of community, and sharing as a tool to promote early intervention and to reach people before they need to reach out themselves. Through storytelling we can reduce the stigma around mental health and demonstrate the meaningful contributions that our words and our lived experiences bring to the wider community. The time is now to validate the emotions and experiences of students ” - Emily McIntyre, Community Manager at Layla Care.

For Open Screenplay, “One of our most popular and well-received contests has been our Mental Health screenwriting contest hosted in partnership with Layla, and which led to the production of the critically lauded short film “The Poem”.  We are delighted to launch this contest with Layla for the 2nd year in a row, and create another opportunity for emerging writers to tackle this important topic” -  Co-Founder & CEO, Khaled Sabawi.

Layla believes in innovative collaboration to help reduce stigma, and is collaborating with Nimbus Learning on a mental health awareness campaign that relates to the power of storytelling. Nimbus Learning has supported students in their educational experience throughout the pandemic through matching them with a tutor that suits their needs and has mentorship and advising opportunities.

Layla Care is committed to fostering safe and creative spaces to write and talk about your mental health journey.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

About LAYLA Care

Layla empowers you to take greater control of your mental health, bridging the gap between wanting care and getting it. We're a human-first, tech-powered service that makes it simpler to connect with the right mental health support.   Visit us at

Press Contact:  Emily McIntyre, Community Manager


About Open Screenplay

Open Screenplay, a free, first-of-its-kind online platform for screenwriters, was founded to provide access to writers struggling to break into the business by helping them create better stories through the platform’s proven story-writing process and tools. Open Screenplay is creating a global community, where members have the option to collaborate with writers around the world. Visit us at

Press Contact: Khaled Sabawi, Founder & CEO


Participate for free here: