HCC, a community initiative of Cape Assist, is striving to increase protective factors and reduce risk factors for substance abuse for youth in our community. This year’s topics will focus on the importance of staying drug-free and building resilience!

The contest is open to all students in grades K-12 in Cape May County.

(Younger students may need the help of an adult to discuss and choose a topic from one of the four topics below)


Students are invited to create a meme/poster/art PSA or a 60-second video (or less), or a written PSA on one of the following four topics (click on each topic to see details and fact sheet):

Entries are due on or before Monday, April 12th

Each winning PSA will receive a $50 Amazon gift card!

Honorable Mentions will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

There will be multiple winners!

Before you start your PSA

visit the rules, requirements, and eligibility

Winning PSAs will be used at Cape Assist functions and workshops and may be chosen to be displayed on Cape Assist’s and HCC’s social media pages as well as sponsored radio spots



Rules & Eligibility:

  • The contest is only open to students in grades K-12th residing in Cape May County or enrolled in a school in Cape May County.

  • Students must select one of the four topics listed at the top of the page for their PSA. Each topic has a description/fact sheet.

  • PSA may not contain the following: profanity, nudity, promoting drinking, drugs, death, or violence.

  • Complete and submit an entry by using the submission below at the bottom of this section.

  • For group projects, every student will need to submit the consent form through the submission process. A group PSA will be recognized as one PSA (you may write the names of the other participants on a piece of paper and upload it as the submission if the PSA video has already been submitted).

  • The parent/guardian consent form completion will be required during the submission process.

  • Only one entry per student is permitted.

  • Deadline: Monday, April 12th, 2021.

  • Any entries submitted after the deadline or without an entry form will be considered invalid.

  • Winners will be chosen by a committee from CMC Healthy Community Coalition based on relevance to theme, factual information, and creativity. Good luck to all and thank you for your participation!

Requirements for video PSA:

  • Video PSA will only be accepted in the following formats: MP4, AVI, MOV, WMV

  • Video PSA should be limited to 60 seconds or less.

  • PSA must include a title and “produced by” at the beginning or end of the video (this will be included in the 60-second video limit).

  • Ensure that background music/noise does not overpower or distract any important speaking parts of the PSA. Actors in the PSA should speak loud and clear.

  • Check PSA audio to ensure that it is loud and clear enough at a normal volume range.

Requirements for Meme/Poster/Art PSA:

  • Meme/Poster/Art will only be accepted in the following formats: PDF, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, PNG.

  • The wording for memes has to be original.

  • Check for spelling and grammar.

  • For students submitting a photograph of their meme, poster, or art, please check the lighting and clarity of the photo before submitting.


Requirements for a written PSA:

  • Written PSA will only be accepted in the following formats: PDF, DOC, DOCX

  • Written PSA must have a title.

  • Your written PSA should be 250 words or less.

For any questions or assistance, please contact Natalia at




PSA Topic: Advertise the 2NDFLOOR Helpline



In this PSA, we invite you to raise awareness about the 2NDFLOOR  Helpline for NJ Youth and Young Adults. You can go to their website to learn more. Here is brief information about them:

2NDFLOOR is a Confidential and Anonymous Helpline for NJ Youth and Young Adults.  The organization is available to youth and young adults to help find solutions to the problems they face.  The helpline is available 24/7 - 365 days a year.


Problems, questions, or non-life-threatening situations: dial or text the youth helpline at 888-222-2228  or send an e-mail at

2NDFloor website:

You can talk about when, why, and how to reach out for help.


Some additional information on mental health:

  • When someone is suffering, reaching out for help can be hard, but this is the first step to feeling better.

  • Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking, and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors.

  • Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma around it. Some people don’t take it seriously and can even treat a mental illness as a joke or think of people less because of mental illness – that’s social stigma. Others are afraid of being judged and shamed and don’t ask for help – that’s the stigma that comes from within, that has been internalized from the society.

  • It’s hard to engage in school when someone’s dealing with mental health issues. It’s important to recognize and address it.

PSA Topic: Above the Influence



This PSA should focus on the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol on children and adolescents.

All drugs will affect a person’s judgment, ability to form new memories, learning, reaction time, impulse control, and decision making.  

Drugs are especially harmful to young people because the brain of a young person is not fully developed until the age of 25 years old.        


Here is additional information:

So, It’s Legal, So What?

  • Marijuana has been recently legalized for adult use; however, it changes nothing for youth. It is illegal to buy or use marijuana for those who are under 21. It is also illegal for adults to provide marijuana products to those who are under 21.

  • Marijuana is a mind-altering (psychoactive) drug produced by the Cannabis plant. THC is the main chemical ingredient that produces the psychoactive effect (makes someone ‘high’).

  • Marijuana is highly addictive. 1 in 6 youth marijuana users become addicted.

  • Marijuana changes brain structure. It also lowers your IQ if you use it regularly in your teen years.

  • Marijuana is linked to school failure. Students who use marijuana tend to get lower grades and are more likely to drop out of school.

  • Longtime marijuana users report being less satisfied with their lives, having memory and relationship problems, poorer mental and physical health, lower salaries, and less career success.

  • Drivers who test positive for marijuana are over 2 times more likely to be involved in a crash.



  • It is illegal to buy or consume alcohol under the age of 21. It is also illegal for adults to provide alcohol to those who are under 21.

  • If you drink alcohol before the age of 15, you are 5 times more likely to be alcohol dependent than someone who waited until the drinking legal age of 21.

  • Drinking 5 alcoholic beverages in one night can affect a person’s thinking ability for up to 3 days.

  • Research shows teens who drink score lower on tests than teens that don’t and are more likely to perform poorly at school or even drop out of school.

  • Alcohol consumption lowers speed, endurance, strength, and concentration - all key factors in the success of an athlete.

  • One time getting drunk equals 14 days of lost training effects (for sports). Your individual decision to drink alcohol would affect the entire team.

  • Underage drinking can result in other negative consequences such as alcohol poisoning, alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, and other injuries, legal problems, etc.

Tobacco and Vaping

  • Teenagers who try e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) are more likely to try cigarettes and other tobacco products.

  • Nicotine in either tobacco or vaping liquids is very addictive.

  • You can start feeling addicted after smoking only a few cigarettes or after smoking only for a few days. It is so addictive that hardly anyone succeeds in quitting. Only about 1 out of every 20 who tries to quit is able to make it tobacco-free for a year. People who start smoking when they’re young, have the hardest time quitting.

  • There are thousands of toxic chemicals in a cigarette or in vaping products. They affect the health of a person’s lungs, and some of them can cause cancer.

  • Teens who smoke have many more colds, coughs, throat, and nose problems than those who don’t.

  • Lung cancer kills more people than any other kind of cancer.

  • Smoking is bad for your heart. Smoking is the # 1 cause of heart attacks in younger adults.

  • Smoking causes bad breath, stains teeth, and tongue, and helps tartar build-up on teeth.

  • Teens who smoke are more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety problems, and depression.

PSA Topic: Silver Linings of the Quarantine



In this PSA, we’d like you to talk about the power of choosing a perspective, or in other words, what you choose to think about a certain situation.

What is a silver lining? The phrase comes from the proverb that every cloud has a silver lining, meaning that there is a sign of hope or something good to be found in a bad situation.

Finding a silver lining isn’t always easy, but when everything doesn’t go the way you plan, is it possible that there is something, even the smallest thing, that is ok, maybe even good? Discovering those little things and choosing to focus on them can be very helpful in a situation where you have little control.

Don’t get us wrong, if there is something to be done, by all means, make a plan, and do whatever necessary to solve an issue and improve a situation. But if you feel like you’ve tried everything and/or you don’t have much control over the situation, finding the silver lining may be just the right thing to do.

With the Covid-19 pandemic that is happening all over the world right now, one might feel helpless and hopeless. However, in this PSA, you can explore any and all positive aspects in the otherwise very negative situation. And maybe you’ll inspire someone else to do the same!

For example:

  • Did you spend more time with your close family?

  • Did you play/hang out with your siblings more?

  • Did you learn a new skill?

  • Did you eat more home-cooked meals?

  • Etc.

PSA Topic: Bullying: Be Part of the Solution



In this PSA, we’d like you to talk about preventing bullying on social media. Recently, because of Covid-19, we’ve been spending even more time online and on social media than usual. Being kind virtually is just as important as in person!

Bullying is when one or more people repeatedly harm, harass, intimidate, or exclude others. It can happen in person or on social media.

Here are some facts from

  • You may be a part of cyberbullying even if you don’t know it. For example, if you’ve “liked” a comment or forwarded a picture that makes fun of someone, to one or more friends, that is considered cyberbullying.

  • Cyberbullying can reach and involve many people very quickly.

  • People may cyberbully because they think others won’t know who they are.

  • Only 1 in 10 victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of being bullied.

Here are some tips on how to prevent bullying:

  • Recognize that labels, stereotypes, and prejudice can contribute or lead to bullying or unfair treatment.

  • Recognize that all people are unique individuals beyond a label or stereotype.

  • Understand that increased empathy can reduce the negative effects of labeling and stereotypes. Empathy is the ability to understand and respond thoughtfully to the feelings and perspectives of others.

  • Offer support to someone who’s been bullied.