Representation Matters

The CW Just Launched A Genius Initiative To Fight The Youth Mental Health Crisis

The network is teaming up with mental health foundations to write relevant TV storylines for their most popular shows.

America's youth is facing a mental health crisis. The CW just launched a mental health initiative to...
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It’s no secret that kids and teens today are more stressed than ever. It’s also no secret that in a media-saturated world, what plays out in TV shows and movies can play a massive role in how kids and parents approach mental health issues. The CW knows that representation matters, which is why the channel is launching a mental health initiative that will affect a wide range of its programming.

“The CW Network is honored to partner with the United States Surgeon General to launch this incredibly important national conversation and movement around youth mental health,” said Dennis Miller, President, The CW Network, in a press release published on World Mental Health Day.

“Through the power of our storytelling and our unparalleled reach across all platforms, The CW is committed to bringing awareness and access to resources surrounding mental health to our audience while helping break the negative stigmas surrounding this topic,” Miller added.

The move came a year after United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy called for the nation to address the youth mental health crisis: “Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. The good news is that these challenges are treatable and often preventable, but it is imperative that we take action now,” he said.

“Last year, I released a Surgeon General’s Advisory calling the nation to action to address the youth mental health crisis and calling for a swift and coordinated response to this crisis across sectors. I am grateful for the commitment of The CW Network to use their platforms to raise awareness and amplify the voices of diverse young people.”

The initiative is set to cover a variety of topics and kicked off with a PSA about cyberbullying — just in time for National Bullying Prevention Month. The network’s also partnered with the Cybersmile Foundation to promote additional PSAs during primetime, as well as on the network’s social media platforms.

Specifically, the CW will be adding mental health storylines All American and All American: Homecoming, which already highlight the stress and anxiety that comes with being a student athlete. Nancy Drew, Superman & Lois, Walker, and Walker Independence are all set to feature storylines highlighting teen mental health, too.

Will media portrayal alone solve the youth mental health crisis? Of course not. But it is absolutely a vital step in making sure that kids and teens know that the stress, anxiety, or depression they are feeling doesn’t have to be isolating, and that there are professional and community-based programs that can help them through their mental health journey.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, there is help available. Call the National Crisis Line, day or night. 1-800-273-8255.