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Austin lights up in green for mental health awareness
(Hi, How Are You/Instagram)

In a week-long fundraising event, the Hi, How Are You Project is lighting up Austin in green to raise awareness for mental health.

The Hi, How Are You project is teaming up with American Campus Communities for its "Happy Habit-A-Thon," a fundraising event running from Friday through Feb. 1. The group usually hosts an in-person event on Jan. 22 for "Hi, How Are You Day," but since COVID-19 presented health concerns, the "day" was stretched into a 10-day event.


Several buildings in Austin are also teaming up for the event by going green, the color representing mental health, for the entirety of the week. The buildings expected to participate include, Austin City Hall, The Long Center for the Performing Arts, JW Marriot, W Austin, Gables Republic Square and Johnston's "Jeremiah the Innocent" Mural on the Goodall Wooten at 21st and Guadalupe streets.


Austinites are encouraged to complete 10 "Happy Habits," laid out in the event registration, by the last day of the event. People who do all 10 activities by Feb. 1, and document them on social media using the hashtag #hihowareyouday and tagging the project's account using the handle @hihowareyouproject will be eligible to win several different prizes, according to a press release from the project.

The event kicks off on the founder of the organization Daniel Johnston's birthday, the artist behind Austin's quintessential "Hi, How Are You," mural on The Drag, off the University of Texas campus. Johnston died of natural causes in 2019, however, the Hi, How Are You Project continues to pass along his message of mental health advocacy.

This year, proceeds from "Happy Habit-A-Thon" will go toward funding peer-to-peer training programs, mental health initiatives, events for the community, and media projects.

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