New Digital Storytelling Guide Developed to Support Emotional Well-Being of Content Creators and Their Audiences Unveiled at VidCon

The free, mobile-friendly hub addresses creator-specific mental health challenges and supports positive mental health narratives.  

[June 26, 2024, New York City] — The Jed Foundation (JED) and the Mental Health Storytelling Initiative (MHSI) of USC Annenberg, along with SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios, are proud to announce the launch of the Digital Storytelling Guide at VidCon 2024. This innovative, free, mobile-friendly hub, accessible at digitalstorytellingguide.com, is designed to support content creators in fostering positive mental health narratives.

“Social media is an integral part of the lives of many young people and a place where they find community, access information, and learn about the world around them,” said Dr. Laura Erickson-Schroth, Chief Medical Officer of The Jed Foundation. “The engagement between digital content creators and their audiences can profoundly impact the well-being of both communities — how they perceive themselves, think about mental health, and take actions that can either support or compromise their overall well-being. The new Digital Storytelling Guide will provide much-needed information to countless content creators to support themselves and their audiences while addressing pressing mental health challenges.” 

Developed in collaboration with content creators and leading experts in mental health and media and informed by the Mental Health Media Guide, the Digital Storytelling Guide provides: 

  • Creator-specific mental health resources and self-care information.
  • Storytelling tools and tips for creating safe, impactful content on topics including mental health conditions, body image, climate anxiety, how to support friends, and major life events such as breakups and loss.
  • Information on how creators can offer resources and work with nonprofits and experts to support their community while protecting their own well-being.

We know creators play a significant role in shaping the mental health narratives of their communities. Until now, they haven’t had a resource that directly addresses the unique challenges they face,” said Ashley Kolaya, Lead Impact and Engagement Officer at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. “We believe this Guide will equip them with the tools they need to foster safe, supportive, and impactful mental health conversations.” 

“SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios is proud to support the development of the Digital Storytelling Guide as part of our ongoing commitment to expanding mental health storytelling,” said Noopur Agarwal, Vice President of Social Impact for SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios. “We recognize the influence content creators have on audiences and want to ensure that storytellers across all forms of media have the resources they need to advance impactful mental health narratives.”

VidCon is the world’s largest event for fans, creators, executives, and brands who are passionate about digital content and its creators, community-led media, and building diverse communities. Attendees can learn more and explore the Digital Storytelling Guide at two events:  

Panel Event 

Self Care: Not Just Face Masks & Hot Baths. VidCon attendees are invited to join the Self Care: Not Just Face Masks & Hot Baths panel on Saturday, June 29, at 4 p.m. at the Amplify Stage. Moderated by Courtney Knowles, JED Senior Media Advisor, the panel will draw creator self-care tips from the Guide and feature creators Sarah Schauer, Kelly Kay, and Boze discussing what self-care means to them, why they see it as a priority rather than a luxury, and how they use self-care practices to navigate their busy lives.

Expo Hall Experience

Practice How to A.S.K. & Check Out the Digital Storytelling Guide. Attendees can explore the Digital Storytelling Guide at the A.S.K. café, located on the Expo floor at booth 521. Visitors will receive free boba tea after practicing the new “stop, drop, and roll” for how to help a friend — A.S.K., which stands for Acknowledge, Support, and Keep-in-Touch. They will also have access to the Guide’s insights on how to create content that positively affects their audiences while safeguarding their own mental health. 

Learn more about the Digital Storytelling Guide, a resource designed by creators, for creators.

Interviews are available with mental health and media experts from JED, the Mental Health Storytelling Initiative, and SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios upon request.

About The Jed Foundation

JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.

Connect with JED: Email | X | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn | Snapchat | Pinterest | TikTok

About Mental Health Storytelling Initiative

The Mental Health Storytelling Initiative uses the power of storytelling to improve mental health, both for storytellers and their audiences. MHSI, launched with support from MTV Entertainment and housed at USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative, oversees the Mental Health Storytelling Coalition, an unprecedented multi-sector partnership between more than 70 leading entertainment industry partners and mental health organizations. In 2021, MHSI launched the Mental Health Media Guide, a groundbreaking, comprehensive resource for content creators designed to help expand positive mental health portrayals.

About SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios & Paramount Media Networks 

SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios & Paramount Media Networks is a global network of media assets that reaches over one billion people in more than 180 countries featuring some of the most iconic brands in entertainment including SHOWTIME, MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Network among others – and, its Studios arm which produces 120+ series annually, including some of today’s biggest hits such as Yellowstone, Yellowjackets, Emily in Paris, 1883, 1923, George & Tammy, South Park, Tulsa King, RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Challenge and Jersey Shore, to name a few.

Media Contact

Justin Barbo
Director of Public Relations
The Jed Foundation (JED)

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