HBO enlisted a real psychologist to talk about its characters' mental health issues

'It's OK' features shows like 'Girls' and 'Euphoria' to help destigmatize a common struggle

Published On
Oct 10, 2019

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Every year, one in five U.S. adults experiences a mental health issue. But one of the biggest impediments to treatment is the stigma associated with it. Because of the silence, people in crisis often feel like they’re the only ones dealing with it.

This World Mental Health Day, HBO is marshaling its own shows to encourage more conversation about and mental health and to help destigmatize problems so many people experience. Clinical psychologist Ali Mattu appears in a frank series in which he analyzes scenes from HBO shows like “Girls,” explaining the real mental health challenges characters are going through. In the first episode, out today, Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder and Mattu describes the symptoms and calls for more understanding, adding that flippantly using phrases like “I’m so OCD” dismisses the severity of the condition.


The campaign from Wieden & Kennedy New York assures viewers that “It’s OK” to deal with mental health issues. An anthem spot features clips from HBO shows like “Euphoria,” “Sharp Objects,” “The Shop” and “The Sopranos,” as characters or guests grapple with their own issues.


HBO is also running bumpers ahead of shows like these, warning viewers that they contain scenes of specific mental health issues or addiction. But the bumpers also add a message with the “It’s OK” icon and direct viewers to the hotline for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


Oct 10, 2019
Client :
Agency :
Wieden & Kennedy - New York
Executive Creative Director :
Karl Lieberman
Creative Director :
Jaclyn Crowley
Creative Director :
Sean McLaughlin
Copywriter :
Will Binder
Art Director :
Blair Warren
Art Director :
Zoe Kessler
Head of Integrated Production :
Nick Setounski
Senior Producer :
Kimberly Edwards
Producer :
Purvi Sheth
Studio Manager :
Jill Kearton
Design Lead :
Frank DeRose
Designer :
James Hughes
Designer :
Liam Hamill
Account Director :
Samantha Wagner
Account Supervisor :
Lee Ford
Assistant Account Executive :
DeMornay Harper
Brand Strategist :
Brian Ritter
Comms Planner :
Lizzie Manning
Social Strategist :
Leah Greene
Junior Social Strategist :
Faith Daniels
Project Manager :
Julie Knight
Business Affairs Manager :
Michael Moronez
Public Relations Director :
Theresa Collins
Public Relations Specialist :
Sanam Shah
Film Production Company :
Director :
Jihye Ku
Executive Producer :
Michelle Carman
Producer :
Nick Jones
Producer :
Sam Broscoe
Director of Photography :
Brandon Yoon
Gaffer :
Anthony Asaro
Production Designer :
Steven Killian
Photographer :
Kristen Gladney
Editorial Company :
Final Cut
Editor :
Ashley Kreamer
Editor :
Michael Dart Wadsworth
Editor :
Chris Rizzo
Producer :
Penny Ensley
Cutting Assistant :
Matt Carter
Lead VFX Artist / Creative Director :
Dirk Greene
Flame Assistant / VFX Artist :
Nicholas Renaudeau
Graphic Designer :
Phil Brooks
Sound Mixer :
T. Terressa Turinski
Sound Assistant :
Amanda Fuentes
Finishing Producer :
Kyra Hendricks

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