Regina Hall, H.E.R., Michael Imperioli, Margaret Cho, Andy Cohen, Rachel Bloom and Tig Notaro are among the industry notables lined up to participate in a virtual summit on how mental health is portrayed in media.
The event is being pulled together by MTV Entertainment Group, Disney, NBCUniversal, Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and other media companies, as well as the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and a host of mental health experts. The virtual “Better Together: Mental Health Storytelling Summit” is set to take place May 3 to May 5, to coincide with the start of Mental Health Awareness Month.
The goal of an event geared to Hollywood’s creative community is to encourage storytellers across film, TV and music to expand portrayals of mental health in media.
“Better Together: Mental Health Storytelling Summit” will be produced by VIVA Creative in partnership with Ri-Karlo Handy of Sunwise Media as executive producer.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create hardships, nearly 50% of adults in the U.S. say their mental health has been negatively impacted by the pandemic, according to research cited by the industry coalition.
Recently, MTV Entertainment announced the launch of their “Mental Health is Health” campaign, which aims to use the power of storytelling to de-stigmatize mental health and help affect cultural change. MTVE has committed to doubling the number of mental health storylines across its portfolio of more than 100 television shows that have a broad footprint across more than a dozen linear and streaming platforms. It is also working with the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative to ensure that depictions of mental illness in its shows are authentic and appropriately nuanced.