In the wake of new research from MTV revealing that an unprecedented level of Americans are experiencing declining mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MTV, Comedy Central and ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Brands, in partnership with the Ad Council, have launched AloneTogether.com, a website focused on addressing the effects of isolation on mental health. The online hub will offer actionable resources to help people Stay Calm, Stay Connected and Stay Active while they Stay Home. A new suite of PSA creative assets developed for broadcast, print, digital and social media, will direct help-seeking audiences to AloneTogether.com.
According to MTV’s insights, titled “The New Normal: Mental Health Insights and The Impact of COVID-19,” a majority of Americans (56%) are not seeking help for their mental health despite a 37% decrease in the general mental wellness since the pandemic began in March, with 42% reporting that their mental health is ‘Fair’ or ‘Poor’ versus 26% citing ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’ mental health. Women and lower-income groups are over-indexing for feeling ‘Fair,’ and Gen Z is most likely to acknowledge feeling ‘Poor.’ Further, among those who identified as feeling ‘Fair’ or ‘Poor,’ 37% are not seeking help because what they believe is a lack of need for it and 34% noting that any need ‘will pass.’
This is the latest phase of #AloneTogether, the global campaign that is informing audiences about the importance of staying home and social distancing during COVID-19. In addition to the Entertainment & Youth brands of ViacomCBS (MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, Pop TV, CMT, VH1, TV Land and Logo), in a cross-industry effort, Walt Disney Television helped collaborate and will be sharing the content across their channels and platforms. Prominent TikTok creators will be creating their own content for the campaign using the #AloneTogether hashtag which will be supported in donated media. Hearst Magazines created a new print PSA and Holler is creating new custom animated stickers for digital messaging platforms.
“We at MTV know that even in so-called ‘good times,’ mental health is a growing concern for our audience — especially among younger generations,” said Brianna Cayo Cotter, SVP of Social Impact for the Entertainment & Youth brands of ViacomCBS. “Both for people who are staying home to slow the spread and for frontline workers, it’s more important than ever to underscore the message that it’s ok to not be ok, and to provide people with actionable tools and resources that help them take care of their emotional well-being.”
“Taking care of your mental health, and checking in with your friends and loved ones, are very important during this crisis, particularly while we’re social distancing and many are feeling isolated,” says Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We’re proud to help build on the powerful #AloneTogether platform with these critical messages and resources, and grateful to all of our partners for working with us to amplify the message.”
AloneTogether.com reiterates the original call for people to Stay Home while addressing the effects of isolation on mental health by providing helpful resources on how to also Stay Calm, Stay Connected and Stay Active. Audiences can seek services to support emotional and physical wellness, find opportunities for connection, and learn about actionable ways to combat negative feelings.
Creative assets for #AloneTogether will be supported by Amazon, GumGum, Philo, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, theSkimm, TikTok and Twitch, among others. BigStar donated the production for the new PSAs.
Furthermore, the Ad Council’s Seize the Awkward mental health campaign is launching new social assets and a COVID-19 landing page, which provides information on how to maintain mental health during the crisis, and tips and tools for ways to reach out, stay connected and help friends through this time.
“The New Normal” survey asks 500 people weekly in the United States between the ages of 13-59 via an online survey and matched to the census for age, gender, region. The ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth brands Insights group has been conducted the survey on the state of Americans’ mental health since March 27.