To help tackle the nation’s growing mental health crisis, MTV Entertainment Group (MTVEG) has announced its new multi-year initiative, “Mental Health is Health.”
The campaign hopes to de-stigmatize mental health through the use of powerful storytelling. To do so, the group will double the number of mental health storylines across their portfolio of more than 100 television shows while also working with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Imitative to ensure that all portrayals are original and nuanced, Variety reports.
A study conducted by the entertainment group revealed 92% of adults believe it is essential to bring attention to mental health in entertainment. However, a 2019 USC Annenberg study discovered on 7% of TV characters in the top 100-top rated TV shows experience a mental health condition, and most of the time, it’s not in a positive light.
“We all know the power of storytelling and how narrative can frame the way we look at an issue, which is why we’re doing our part to reimagine the role that content can play to demystify and de-stigmatize mental health because it’s a crisis that’s rapidly on the rise and not enough people are talking about,” said Chris McCarthy, president of MTVEG.
“The sooner we all start to realize that it’s something that impacts all of us, we can begin to help ourselves and others; it’s really about creating a bigger conversation that leads to systematic change that becomes the norm, and I’m confident that we can help spark this change,” McCarthy said.
MTV is hopeful that its new campaign will continue its success of previous campaigns such as “Get Yourself Tested,” which helped increase STD testing by 51 percent, and the TV show “16 & Pregnant,” which helped drive a nationwide decline in teen births.