Case Study

MTV Mental Health Summit

Positive Portrayals for a Change

Now more than ever, positive mental health storylines in entertainment and media are needed. In May 2021, Mental Health Awareness Month, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, along with some of the nation’s leading mental health experts, joined forces with MTV Entertainment, Viacom CBS, The Walt Disney Co., and top Hollywood stars to hold Better Together: Mental Health Storytelling Summit. Its purpose was to build awareness and educate creators and performers about how Hollywood portrayals of mental health can affect people and our society.

H.e.r. and Lisa Ling in conversation at MTv summit

All the Moving Parts

VIVA Creative was challenged with creating the entire digital and broadcast ecosystem – including building the microsite, working with the talent, and producing the content – within two short months. Our team immediately began collaborating with MTV Entertainment and executive producer Ri-Karlo Handy. With a vision and production timeline in hand, we were able to secure celebrity contributors including Trevor Noah, Anthony Anderson, Gayle King, H.E.R., Margaret Cho, Charlamagne tha God, Lisa Ling, Chuck Lorre, and Tig Notaro among many others.

The Healing Power of Creativity

Over the course of three days, attendees learned from other industry insiders about the complexities and nuances of telling stories about mental health. With six polls, direct and group chat, surveys, and live Q&A sessions, attendees were able to participate, soak in the knowledge, and make connections in the industry. They described the event to us as “truly inspirational,” and valuable because they could feel the “authenticity” as “they were not lectures [rather] they were real people.” The event didn’t end there, because attendees were given access to an updated industry guide for producing responsible, ethical portrayals of mental health issues.

View of MTV microsite with event schedule
trevor Noah talking at mTv summit