HBO wants people to start speaking up about mental health.
The network is pulling out scenes from some of its most popular shows, such as The Sopranos, Girls, and Barry, to raise awareness around mental health issues in conjunction with World Mental Health Day. The initiative ‘It’s OK’ aims to destigmatise mental illness and encourage conversation around mental health issues. HBO will highlight a diverse set of characters seen throughout its series whose stories may help to normalize the conversation.
The network partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), an HBO partner since 2016, to create mental health awareness bumpers and short-form content that will run on its platforms from October 10 onwards.
“HBO has always been at the forefront of telling stories featuring complex characters, some of whom deal with mental illness, from The Sopranos to Euphoria, encouraging more conversation around the different facets of mental health,” said Jason Mulderig, vice president of brand and product marketing at HBO. “We are not saying ‘viewer discretion is advised.’ We are saying ‘viewer conversation is encouraged.’”
The network will even release a series of videos called Doctor Commentaries in which a clinical psychologist will discuss scenes focused on mental health issues.