NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MTV Entertainment Group (MTVE) today announced that leading media and technology companies including the Ad Council, BET, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Pinterest, Snapchat, Spotify, them, Upworthy, TelevisaUnivision, WME, Yahoo, YouTube, and Zoom will participate in the first-of-its-kind Mental Health Youth Action Forum in Washington, DC on May 18.
The participating companies have committed to co-develop and/or amplify the work of the previously announced 30 young mental health content creators and activists selected to develop new creative mental health campaigns by young people, for young people. (Link to participant bios)
Brianna Cayo Cotter, SVP of Social Impact for MTV Entertainment Group:“We are so grateful to our partners in entertainment, media, and tech who have agreed to join us at the Mental Health Youth Action Forum to learn from the insights of these amazing young creators and activists. These young people’s ideas are critical to helping us achieve meaningful solutions, and it is thanks in part to the collaboration of our partners that their voices are going to be able to be heard.”
Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest: “It is clearer than ever that a person’s emotional health is as important as their physical health. That is why Pinterest is working to build a corner of the Internet that is inspiring and nourishing. Our partnership with MTV will help us deliver on our mission by elevating the voices of young creators who support emotional wellbeing across the world. We could not be more excited about the future we are going to build together.”
Joanna Lambert, GM & President of Yahoo: “We are thrilled to be partnering with MTV to support such an important initiative around the topic of mental health, an issue that our Yahoo audience cares so deeply about. At Yahoo, we remain committed to using our platform to elevate the voices of young creators and diverse perspectives.”
Lucia Knell, VP of Upworthy: “At Upworthy we pride ourselves on using our platform to democratize access to mental health information. We’re beyond excited to partner with MTV on this initiative to bring young people into the fold, not just to have a conversation about mental health, but to create a deeply supportive and authentic COMMUNITY around it.”
Tiffany Ward, CAA Board Member: “We know that storytelling can influence attitudes and broaden perspectives. Eliminating the stigma around mental health is vital, particularly for younger, diverse communities who have been incredibly impacted by recent global concerns. We are proud to be a partner in this initiative, using our resources to support the content creators who are working to drive conversation around essential public health campaigns.”
Sofia Gross, Head of Policy Partnerships and Social Impact at Snapchat: “Snap is proud to partner with the first-ever Mental Health Youth Action Forum. Every day, Snap seeks to expand our mental health efforts and in-app resources to empower Snapchatters to take care of their wellbeing, and to support their friends who may be dealing with mental health challenges. We’re honored to be a part of this agreement to further empower young people to take action towards their mental health.”
Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council: “Breaking down barriers and equipping Americans of all ages with the resources and tools to address their personal mental health is a focal point of the Ad Council’s social impact efforts. We’re honored to collaborate with MTV Entertainment and to amplify the action-oriented messages from the upcoming Mental Health Youth Action Forum.”
Dr. Garth Graham, Director and Global Head of YouTube Health: “Mental health is a critical part of our mission at YouTube Health — we want you to be able to find the information you need when you need it, whether that is immediate support in a crisis, educational content about your condition, or long-term coping strategies and personal stories of others. We’re proud to be a part of the first-ever Mental Health Youth Action Forum, and look forward to connecting with young creators and advocates.”
Roxana Shirkhoda, Head of Social Impact at Zoom: “Mental health is a critical issue facing today’s global society, which is why Zoom Cares made it a top priority to fund millions of dollars to nonprofits advancing accessible mental health resources, specifically for BIPOC, low-income, and LGBTQ+ young people. These 30 mental health advocates part of the Mental Health Youth Action Forum are a prime example of how vital it is to support those closest to the problem who know what their communities need to thrive.”
Following a six-week virtual creative development program, the young leaders will present their ideas at a White House event to help inform future creative public health campaigns related to mental health. Senior officials from the Biden-Harris Administration, including from the Department of Health and Human Services, are expected to speak at the Forum. The evening before the Forum, Pinterest will help kickoff activities with an interactive experience at The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum to inspire Forum participants and prompt dialogue and action around mental health and emotional wellbeing.
The ideas presented by the participants will be the basis for creative content such as PSAs, podcasts, and digital art focused on improving the mental health of young people from historically marginalized communities like BIPOC and LGBTQ+. Campaigns will be launched nationwide before the end of the year in collaboration with select media, entertainment and technology brands that will amplify and/or co-develop the creative ideas coming out of the Forum.
For more information on the Forum and participants, go here.
Leveraging its decades-long history of sparking conversations about mental health, in April 2021 MTV Entertainment Group launched Mental Health is Health, a multi-year initiative to tackle the nation’s growing health crisis by harnessing the power of storytelling to normalize mental health conversations and inspire action. MTVE agreed to a coalition of entertainment media companies and mental health experts for the Better Together Mental Health Storytelling Summit and unveiled The Mental Health Media Guide, a first-of-its-kind comprehensive resource for content creators designed to elevate storytelling opportunities that can change the narrative on mental health. Building on its legacy of bringing companies and organizations together to create social change, MTVE spearheaded Mental Health Action Day, an open-source global movement to shift culture from awareness to action. More than 1,400 organizations, brands, government agencies and cultural leaders participated in the inaugural event, which focused on driving people to get the mental health support they need. This year’s Mental Health Action Day will be held on May 19, 2022.