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Friday, June 21, 2019

HBO Tackles Mental Health Stigma

The stigma of mental illness is a topic that we frequently discuss here at Hope By The Sea. Experts agree that having more conversations as a society about behavioral health and mood disorders lessens people’s fear of reaching out for help.

mental health stigma
Addiction, anxiety, depression, bipolar, and post-traumatic stress disorder are treatable mental health conditions. Stigma is one of the most significant obstacles standing between men and women and treatment.

It is nice to see that several major companies and media corporations are now on board with addressing mental health. In recent years, Americans have been treated to several television shows and films that confront the subjects of addiction, mental illness, and stigma. Several actors, musicians, and A-list celebrities use their standing in the world to encourage average people to find support. The list of stars in recovery is long!

People often say that art imitates life, but there is a flip side to that coin. In many cases, life imitates art; meaning events in the real world can be inspired by creative works. Why can’t that be true for addiction and recovery, too? If someone is struggling with mental illness and watches a show about a character with similar life circumstances and is in recovery, it might empower them to seek assistance.

HBO has produced several series and movies that deal with subjects that are notoriously difficult to talk about in real life. They have programs about drug use in America and men and women’s battles with mental illness. The premium cable and satellite television network has enormous reach, and the company’s commitment to making quality programming ensures that they will deal with sensitive subjects carefully.

HBO Partners with Kindred for Mental Health Event


Between June 24-26, over 75 influential content creators and nonprofits will meet at the Ranch in Laguna Beach, Deadline reports. The topic of discussion at the gathering is mental health stigmas. The event is hosted and sponsored by Kindred, a social impact organization, in partnership with HBO. Among the list of attendees are:
  • Anthony Rapp, Star Trek: Discovery actor
  • Gary Gulman, comedian
  • Justin Cunningham, co-founder of Chance the Rapper’s SocialWorks
  • Ian Schafer, Kindred co-founder and CEO
  • Lina Renzina, The Ad Council
  • Larissa May, mental health advocate
Attendees will discuss how to use comedy to break the stigma and change our conversations about mental illness, according to the article. There will also be a focus on how social media affects mental illness; speakers will discuss the science behind mental illness and grief.

“Over the years, HBO has seen the impact storytelling can have on addressing important cultural issues like mental health. HBO originals like The Sopranos and In treatment, documentaries like One Nation Under Stress, and our upcoming comedy special, The Great Depresh with Gary Gulman all bring mental health to the forefront and make a difficult topic easier to talk about,” said Sabrina Caluori, EVP, Digital and Social Media at HBO. 

The Kindred Mental Health Quest, Mind | Matters event is the first in a series of events from Kindred and HBO. Other subjects the organization will touch upon down the road include criminal justice reform and diversity & inclusion.

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