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The Kids Mental Health Foundation and Mental Health Storytelling Initiative Unveil First-Ever Children’s Section for Mental Health Media Guide

The Kids Mental Health Foundation and Mental Health Storytelling Initiative Unveil First-Ever Children’s Section for Mental Health Media Guide

Alexandra Daddario, Andrew Levitt, Josh Griffith, mental health advocates, and more joined the Kids Mental Health Foundation and Mental Health Storytelling Initiative on Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day to discuss children’s mental health in entertainment and media 

NEW YORK, May 7, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today, The Kids Mental Health Foundation (KMHF) hosted a panel alongside the Mental Health Storytelling, which is housed at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, in New York City. The event marked Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 7th and celebrated the launch of the children’s section of the Mental Health Media Guide. The new section was developed by KMHF in partnership with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

The new children’s section can be accessed HERE.

The event, “Changing the Narrative: Children’s Mental Health in Entertainment & Media,” focused on the importance of accurate and thoughtful portrayals and representation of children’s mental health stories within entertainment, media, and content creation. Speakers included Alexandra Daddario, KMHF celebrity champion and actor; Andrew Levitt, KMHF celebrity champion, actor, and LGBTQ+ activist; Ashley Kolaya, Director of the Mental Health Storytelling Initiative; Josh Griffith, Executive Producer and Head Writer for “The Young and the Restless;” Noopur Agarwal, Vice President of Social Impact for SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios; Ross Szabo, Wellness Director Geffen Academy at UCLA; and Dr. Whitney Raglin Bignall, Associate Clinical Director of The Kids Mental Health Foundation.

“Part of the human condition is to learn to find a new way to tackle issues and tell children it’s okay to be who you are,” said Alexandra Daddario. “Being human doesn’t mean you’re perfect and we can teach kids that.”

“Storytellers and content creators have the ability to educate and create meaningful change through their work,” said Dr. Whitney Raglin Bignall, Associate Clinical Director of The Kids Mental Health Foundation and Pediatric Psychologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “It’s extremely powerful when families and caregivers see accurate depictions of kids’ mental health. The Guide’s insight and recommendations will be critical for storytellers as they write storylines that can model positive kids’ mental health behaviors.” 

The Mental Health Media Guide is a groundbreaking, comprehensive resource for content creators designed to help expand authentic mental health portrayals. The guide was developed by a coalition of mental health experts and organizations such as The Kids Mental Health Foundation and leading entertainment companies and creative professionals, spearheaded by SHOWTIME / MTV Entertainment Studios and USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The best practices and evidence-based recommendations in this interactive tool are meant to support storytellers at any phase in the production process. The children’s section is the latest installment and comes at a time when there is an increasing need to address children’s mental health.

“We are thrilled to launch this important addition to the Mental Health Media Guide. Understanding children’s mental health is the first step toward supporting and improving it,” said Ashley Kolaya, Director of the Mental Health Storytelling Initiative. “In portraying authentic mental health narratives, content creators aren’t just crafting better stories – they’re empowering their audiences with knowledge and helping them build empathy.”

The panel discussion follows KMHF’s announcement of the expansion of its mission to champion the mental well-being of children across the nation. Building upon the success of On Our Sleeves, the organization is moving forward as The Kids Mental Health Foundation to reflect its belief that emotional and physical well-being deserve equal weight when considering a child’s health. KMHF will continue to equip children with skills to navigate their mental health while also helping adults build healthy, empathetic, and communicative relationships with the kids in their lives.

For more about the Mental Health Media Guide, click here. For more information about The Kids Mental Health Foundation, please visit KidsMentalHealthFoundation.org.

ABOUT THE KIDS MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION
The Kids Mental Health Foundation is the leading organization promoting mental health for children in the United States. To achieve its vision to build a world where mental health is a vital part of every child’s upbringing, nearly 1,000 mental health professionals and researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in partnership with other trusted experts, provide real-world knowledge and expertise to power the Foundation’s free educational videos, guides and curriculum. Created in 2018 as The On Our Sleeves Movement for Children’s Mental Health, the recent name change reflects the Foundation’s belief that emotional and physical wellbeing deserve equal weight when considering the health of a child. To date more than 15 million people have engaged with the Foundation’s materials, helping parents, educators and coaches be a guiding force for children all across the United States.

CONTACT: [email protected] 

SOURCE The Kids Mental Health Foundation

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-kids-mental-health-foundation-and-mental-health-storytelling-initiative-unveil-first-ever-childrens-section-for-mental-health-media-guide-302139023.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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