HBO has announced it intends to add mental health awareness ‘bumpers’ ahead of select show episodes, partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) to create the warnings.
The move is in order to identify specific mental illnesses that appear in the episode and provide a call to action for anyone seeking help. It is part of an initiative which aims to destigmatize mental illness and encourage conversation around mental health issues.
A USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative report earlier this year indicates less than 2% of all film characters and roughly 7% of TV characters experience mental health conditions on screen – compared to the near 20% of the U.S. population that reports some form of mental health condition or illness each year. Series such as “Barry,” “Euphoria,” “Girls” and “The Sopranos” among others will include the warnings.
A short-form content series titled “Doctor Commentaries” will include conversations on relevant scenes from HBO shows. Seven will be produced and be roughly 2-3 minutes in length each and will be posted on both HBO‘s and Dr. Mattu’s YouTube channels.