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.