A variety of entertainment companies, under the umbrella of The Mental Health Storytelling Coalition, have collaborated on what is being billed as a “comprehensive resource for content creators designed to help expand positive mental health portrayals.”
The online, interactive Mental Health Media Guide has been created in conjunction with the Better Together Mental Health Summit launched this week by MTV Entertainment Group. Partners in the Mental Health Media Guide include ViacomCBS, Amazon Studios, NBCUniversal, CAA, WarnerMedia, UTA, the Walt Disney Company, OWN, and Spotify among others.
The guide was developed by a coalition of mental health experts, leaders from mental health organizations, and a range of creative, production and business professionals from media and entertainment companies which, according to the team behind the guide, “have deep knowledge about and/or lived experience with the full range of mental health challenges, as well as a diversity of life experience as informed by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and religion.”
The online tool features a step by step process designed to help content creators practically apply storytelling tips and best practices — ideally at the development or pre-production phase. But the guide’s developers maintain, “no matter what phase of the production cycle you’re in, there are many opportunities in this guide to maximize your project’s positive mental health impact.”
Storytelling tips are broken down by theme or topic; genre or format (including unscripted); and identity or community.
The guide also provides an expert directory, and details the current mental health landscape in the U.S., provides a glossary of mental health terms and different factors that impact mental health.
“Storytellers are uniquely positioned to change the conversation around mental health challenges –- from destigmatizing character portrayals to normalizing the act of seeking help and taking action,” said Chris McCarthy, president of MTV Entertainment Group (pictured), in a statement. “We’re optimistic that, with our new Media Guide, content creators now have the tools to tell a more representative narrative and reimagine the power of storytelling to change lives.”
For more information on the Mental Health Media Guide, visit the official site here.