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Austin buildings teaming up with Hi, How Are You Project to go green for mental health awareness

The event kicks off on Jan. 22, Daniel Johnston's birthday.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Friday, the Hi, How Are You Project is kicking off its Happy Habit-A-Thon, a multi-day awareness and fundraising project encouraging people to share and support how they partake in happy habits.

Jan. 22 is a special date because it is the birthday of Daniel Johnston, the artist behind Austin's famous "Hi, How Are You," mural near the University of Texas campus. Johnston, who was an outspoken advocate regarding mental health, died in 2019.

This year, many Austin businesses will be "going green," the color representing mental health, with green lights starting on Friday and lasting through the week.

RELATED: Hi How Are You Day 2020 celebrates life, legacy of Daniel Johnston

"In these challenging times, we encourage everyone to tend to their mental health just as we are taking precautions to maintain our physical health," the project says. "It doesn't require much effort to implement helpful strategies that promote your long-term well-being. Here are a few easy daily tasks you can do to elevate your mood, improve energy and keep yourself in good mental health. We call them 'Happy Habits.'"

Local buildings that have signed up to participate in the event include:

  • Austin City Hall
  • The Long Center for the Performing Arts
  • JW Marriot
  • W Austin
  • Gables Republic Square
  • Johnston’s “Jeremiah the Innocent” Mural on the Goodall Wooten at 21st and Guadalupe streets

Proceeds from this year's event will go toward the project's mission of funding mental health initiatives like custom-built peer-to-peer training programs, events, thoughtful media and more. Organizers say the trainings equip ACC community assistants and other team members with the tools needed to plan stress-reducing activities, recognize warning signs, empower team members to start conversations and provide resources related to mental health and wellness at college campuses around the country.

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