Large media companies run by ViacomCBS’s MTV Entertainment Group have teamed up with medical experts to form the Mental Health Storytelling Coalition, a partnership to tackle the rise in depression, anxiety and suicide – specifically among young people and exacerbated by Covid-19 – and how the entertainment industry can help.
“The data reinforces the fact that changing the conversation about mental wellness and suicide prevention has never been more important – and the entertainment industry has a key role to play,” the partners said in an announcement Tuesday. .
On the media side, the advisory board includes – in alphabetical order – Amazon Studios, Anonymous Content, AwesomenessTV, BET, CAA Foundation, CBS, CMT, Comedy Central, Endeavor Content, MTV, NBCUniversal, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Showtime, Spotify, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Starz, The Ad Council, Walt Disney, UTA Foundation, ViacomCBS and VH1.
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MTV Entertainment Group led the effort. “The media has a huge influence on how we collectively perceive and understand the most difficult issues in our society,” said Bob Bakish, CEO of parent company ViacomCBS. “The mental health crisis is impacting people of all demographics and geographies, and as content creators it is our responsibility to use our assets – across our stories, our platforms and our reach. – to act. Our ability to come together as an industry to significantly change the discourse on mental health can transform the lives of people everywhere. “
Industry leaders, creators and celebrities will kick off the collaboration at the Mental Health Storytelling Summit the first week of May where they will unveil a first-of-its-kind comprehensive media guide to mental health that provides ” best practices and evidence-based recommendations to support storytellers at all stages of the production process, on all topics and genres. “
“The way mental health is portrayed in movies, television and other popular media has a profound impact on public discourse and the perceptions of people with mental illness,” said Glenn O’Neal, Director of Communications at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “We are proud to collaborate on this project so that the diverse experiences of people with mental health issues are accurately represented, thereby reducing stigma and discrimination.
The coalition was created in partnership with the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California.
“We have been fortunate to have formed a long-term partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Dr. Christine Moutier and other mental health experts throughout 4 seasons of 13 reasons why and can share firsthand how rewarding and crucial these connections are, ”said Joy Gorman Wettels, partner at Anonymous Content of the Netflix series.
“We are committed to creating more content that promotes both empathy and awareness of mental health while normalizing and humanizing the valuable experiences of those living with mental illness,” she said.
“The Mental Health Media Guide will be an invaluable industry tool as it is our responsibility as content creators to ensure authentic portrayals of mental health given the impact our stories and characters can have on the human body. audience, ”said Janine Jones-Clark, Executive Vice President of Inclusion – Talent and Content, NBCUniversal.
Chris McCarthy, president of MTV Entertainment Group, called the mental health crisis a “silent pandemic that has grown alarmingly over the past decade.”
“We are very grateful to our partners for joining us in this coalition to unleash the power of storytelling to help break the stigma surrounding mental health. As storytellers, we have the opportunity to represent the continuum of mental health and empower people to help themselves and each other because mental health is health, ”he said. she declared.
The Expert Advisory Board includes Active Minds, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, Born This Way Foundation, Entertainment Industries Council, National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Council for Behavioral Health, SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), The Boris L. Henson Foundation, The Jed Foundation, The Trevor Project, Vibrant Emotional Health (administers the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline), Dr Jessi Gold, Dr Joy Harden Bradford and Dr Michael Lindsey
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