- Normalize open dialogue
- Show relatable conversations about mental health to make viewers more comfortable with the concept of speaking up and asking for help.
While most Americans say mental health is a priority for them, they don’t necessarily feel comfortable discussing their difficult feelings or struggles with others. One reason people might not speak up is the belief that friends or family members will be uncomfortable, judgmental, or unsupportive.
However, data shows that talking about our struggles makes them easier to navigate, and talking about feelings in general — positive and negative — is an important part of managing our overall mental health.
When possible, make room in your stories to show people starting and engaging in conversations about their thoughts and feelings:
- Showing productive and positive conversations about mental health can make the process less intimidating for viewers who may be struggling and feel nervous about speaking up.
- If your story requires someone’s friend or family member to be judgmental, show the negative impact of their judgment and look for opportunities to counter that narrative with people or professionals who are willing to have those conversations and be supportive.
- Even if a character or cast member’s friend or family member is initially unsupportive, see if there’s a possibility for evolution. Seeing someone evolve from a place of not being supportive or understanding to becoming part of an effective support system is powerful and can provide hope for those who feel like they have nowhere to turn.