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Special Project

Special Project
From the 6th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Mental Health is Health

Winner in Public Safety

About this entry

Mental health is one of the major crises of our time. Over the past two decades, rates of people experiencing mental health conditions have risen along with an increase in suicides, particularly among young adults. Even worse, the COVID pandemic has accelerated this crisis, giving way to what many mental health professionals have called the “second pandemic.”


To meet the urgency of this moment, the MTV Entertainment Group (MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, Pop TV, CMT, VH1, TV Land and Logo) launched Mental Health is Health: a multi-year initiative that  harnesses the power of storytelling to destigmatize mental health, normalize open conversation and shift our communities from awareness to action. The initiative aims to not only empower individuals with concrete tools to support themselves and others but also provides pathways to advocate for systemic change so everyone can access the care they need.


Mental Health is Health builds on MTV’s decades long legacy of sharing honest and authentic stories about mental health that have helped to transform the national narrative and reinforce the notion that mental health is just as important as physical health.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Mental Health is Health aims to help audiences understand that we all have mental health, and there are things we can do to take care of our own emotional well-being and support others no matter where we are on the mental health continuum.


To drive home this message and provide audiences with tools to support themselves and their loved ones, the MTV Entertainment Group (MTVE) created, a unique resource hub where individuals can find resources and support based on what they are feeling or experiencing in their everyday lives, not just in crisis moments.


Once a user has indicated what they’re dealing with, the site  offers curated resources that are both accessible and actionable, including topical articles and ‘Mental Health 101’ information, resources to find professional support locally or through digital platforms, self-care strategies, and more to support viewers wherever they may be in their mental health journey.


MTVE partnered with 10 leading mental health nonprofits to inform the site content and resources, ensuring that the site was optimized to serve the diverse audiences reached by MTVE platforms, with a particular focus on offering culturally responsive resources tailored to individuals from historically excluded communities.


To extend the reach of the initiative, MTV leveraged its massive digital community and brand platforms to start a conversation about the simple steps people can all take to improve their mental health - . from art and self-expression, to movement and personal connections. Ultimately, the goal of this content was to inspire viewers to overcome the common barriers that often prevent people from taking action for their mental health while driving them to for evidence-based resources to support them in their journey.


MTV Entertainment Group generated over 500 posts, leading to 36M impressions, 11.6M views and 454K engagements across its wide array of social accounts.

Talent Creative. MTVE harnessed the power of its talent and invited them to directly speak to fans about mental health. Over 30 celebrities, musicians and stars of hit MTVE franchises participated, including music talent such as Jewel, Rita Ora, Blanco Brown; comedy talent such as Roy Wood Jr., Maria Bamford, Aparna Nancherla; cast members of Jersey Shore, The Challenge, Younger, The Daily Show and more.

Social-First Formats. Our creative teams tapped into their specific brand voices to produce original social content, including: An MTV News ‘Sound On’ panel about the impact of social media and beauty ideals on women; a PSA from Comedy Central reminding people that they don’t have to choose between the things they enjoy and their mental health; editorial from Logo around LGBTQ+ mental health.

Timeline Cleanse. MTVE brands and shows broadcast a blitz of calming imagery (livestream of the Siesta Key beach), positive posts (motivation from Pauly D) and short meditations (1-minute meditation with alpacas) across platforms to give social media users a break from their typical feed.

Franchise Footage. Legacy content that featured conversations around mental health - from shows like Teen Mom, Comedy Central Stand-Up Specials and Black Ink Crew - were resurfaced across platforms to tap into powerful fan communities.

Traffic to Throughout the campaign’s initial promotional period in May, 50K users visited for resources and support.


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