Back in May, MTV Entertainment Studios hosted the Mental Health Youth Action Forum at the White House, where a group of young mental health leaders spoke about the projects they were shepherding and were paired with mentors to help bring forth their stories. Among them was a group of advocates behind Hidden Healers, an organization that seeks to lift mental health actions that honor the heritage of various communities and cultures.
Today, to coincide with World Mental Health Day, MTVE and Paramount Media Networks announced the Hidden Healers digital series, created in partnership with those four young leaders. (disclaimer: MTVE is a sponsor of the upcoming Hollywood & Mind launch event headed by the writer of this article.)
“We spearheaded the Mental Health Youth Action Forum to empower young people and help them to develop mental health content that would resonate with their communities and drive people to action,” says Brianna Cayo Cotter, SVP of social impact at Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios. “We are excited to be able to bring to life this unique and timely initiative which further drives our shared mission to normalize and expand the conversation around mental health.”
The first digital videos in the series will be released in November to coincide with Native Peoples Heritage Month. Others will be released throughout 2023 including during Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), Arab American Heritage Month (April), Asian American Pacific Islander Month (May), Caribbean American Heritage Month (June), and Latinx Heritage Month (September 15-October 15.)
“Practicing mental wellness is not always easy for our young people, particularly those with intersectional and marginalized identities. This is due to many barriers to professional care like therapy, medication and accurate diagnoses, which are impacted by pervasive cultural stigmas that prevent people from taking action,” says Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, founder of The AAKOMA Project and co-mentor to the Hidden Healers creators.
“The Hidden Healers is a group of diverse innovators who bring awareness to attainable, affordable and inclusive methods of care, ultimately allowing everyone to envision themselves as people who can flourish.”
The series is the first MTVE programming initiative to stem from the May event, which was led by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Ambassador Susan Rice and Selena Gomez.
A host of other collaborations with roots in the Youth Action Forum are also under way. Among them: one of the participants launched mental health-focused Pinterest