MTV Entertainment Studios and Active Minds announce national campaign “A.S.K.” to address critical youth mental health challenge

 MTV Entertainment Studios (MTVE) has partnered with leading young adult mental health non-profit Active Minds to spearhead an innovative mental health campaign this fall that empowers youth and young adults to simply and effectively help people in their lives through emotional challenges. Called A.S.K. – an acronym for Acknowledge, Support, and Keep-In-Touch – the new highly memorable, multi-media campaign will roll out via digital-first marketing and at key cultural events and on campuses nationwide this fall, combining Active Minds’ two decades of expertise championing peer-to-peer mental health programs for youth and young adults with the global platform of MTVE’s Mental Health is Health initiative.

“MTV Entertainment is committed to driving meaningful change in youth mental health through powerful storytelling, insights, and tools that move people from awareness toward action,” said Chris McCarthy, President and CEO, SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks. “We are excited to partner with Active Minds to recruit an army of peer health allies to empower young people to support their friends, families and communities.”

MTV research finds that young people want to support their friends, but nearly 70% do not feel prepared to do so.

MTVE research shows that young people are more likely to seek help from their friends than a mental health care provider – and while they want to support their friends, nearly 70% do not feel prepared to do so. A.S.K. provides a memorable framework for effective peer support and promotes conversation by encouraging people to ask questions to better support their friends and loved ones:

  • Acknowledge: Let them know their feelings and experiences are valid, that you believe them and recognize the courage it took to come to you.
  • Support: Show up and ask how you can help. Offer options and resources for coping methods and/or professional help if needed.
  • Keep-In-Touch: Actions speak louder – checking back in regularly shows you really care about and hear them.

“Friends and companions are often the first people others turn to during their moments of distress,” said Alison Malmon, Founder and Executive Director, Active Minds. “However, the desire to help is often accompanied by uncertainty about how to best provide that support. A.S.K. provides a clear roadmap, allowing us to show up for our friends and loved ones effectively and genuinely. With MTVE’s reach in combination with the heavy presence of Active Minds on high school and college campuses across the nation, the campaign creates a growing environment of open dialogue and support.”

MTVE debuted A.S.K. at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards in September, where audiences around the country viewed multiple PSAs throughout the broadcast, introducing the campaign and highlighting ways that young viewers can get involved. An interactive, large-scale woven friendship bracelet created by renowned fiber artist Katrina Sánchezappeared in lower Manhattan ahead of the event, and the bracelet will pop up in cities across the country this fall as a visual and interactive symbol of the power of peer support.

“I am thrilled to continue working with MTVE and Active Minds, two organizations that value the mental health and well being of marginalized youth and young adults,” said Morgann Noble, youth advisor. “We hope that A.S.K. will become as easy to remember as Stop, Drop, and Roll for anyone who wants to provide emotional support to the people in their lives.”

More than 40 Active Minds chapters across the country have been selected to host ASKtivations on campuses, including:

  • Albany State University – Albany, Georgia
  • Albion College – Albion, Michigan
  • Boston College – Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
  • Bradley University – Peoria, Illinois
  • Bryant University – Smithfield, Rhode Island
  • College of Southern Nevada – Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Columbia University – New York City, New York
  • De Anza Active Minds – Cupertino, California
  • Delta State University – Cleveland, Mississippi
  • Dominican University of California – San Rafael, California
  • Florida State University – Tallahassee, Florida
  • Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, IUPUI – Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Kenyon College – Gambier, Ohio
  • Louisiana State University-Shreveport – Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Miller Middle School – Santa Maria, California
  • Mississippi State University – Starkville, Mississippi
  • Morgan State University – Baltimore, Maryland
  • North Carolina State University – Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Northeast Community College – Norfolk, Nebraska
  • New York University – New York City, New York
  • Penn State Behrend – Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Rockhurst University – Kansas City, Missouri
  • San Francisco State University – San Francisco, California
  • Somerset Community College – Somerset, Kentucky
  • State University of New York at Plattsburgh – Plattsburgh, New York
  • Stockton University – Galloway, New Jersey
  • Temple University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – Edinburg, Texas
  • The University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ
  • Thiel College – Greenville, Pennsylvania
  • Thomas College – Waterville, Maine
  • Tufts University – Medford, Massachusetts
  • University of Connecticut – Storrs, Connecticut
  • UMass Amherst (University of Massachusetts Amherst) – Amherst, Massachusetts
  • University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  • University of Alberta – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • University of Central Florida – Orlando, Florida
  • University of Dayton – Dayton, Ohio
  • University of Houston Downtown – Houston, Texas
  • University of Illinois at Springfield – Springfield, Illinois
  • University of Manitoba – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • University of Northern Iowa – Cedar Falls, Iowa
  • University of Washington – Seattle, Washington
  • The University of Texas at Austin – Austin, Texas
  • Waukesha County Technical College – Pewaukee, Wisconsin

A.S.K. was created in partnership with Active Minds, building on the non-profit’s successful V-A-R campaign advancing peer support and centering the youth-led approach that has been a core element of Active Minds’ strategy and programming since its founding. In keeping with a shared focus on young BIPOC and LGBTQ+ adults, Active Minds and MTV brought together ten young mental health advocates and activists from diverse backgrounds — some of whom participated in MTVE’s first-ever Mental Health Youth Action Forum in coordination with the Biden-Harris Administration in Spring 2022 — to provide input on the most pressing mental health concerns and needs directly from the youth this campaign aims to serve:

  • Jorge Alvarez, Social Impact Strategist, Mental Health Advocate, Creator & Mental Health Youth Action Forum participant (New York, NY)
  • Brandon Bond, Mental Health & Well-Being Student Advocate Consultant at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Kaitlin Chau, Middle School Counselor (San Jose, CA)
  • Alyssa Garza, Counseling Graduate Student, Counseling Intern at LSU-Shreveport, Mental Health Advocate, Active Minds Chapter Founder (Shreveport, LA)
  • Anushka Gupta, President of Active Minds’ National Student Advisory Committee (New York, NY)
  • Tre Moss, Social Work Student (Davenport, IA)
  • Morgann Noble, Model, Mental Health Advocate, Motivational Speaker and Consultant (Washington, DC)
  • Jaiden Singh, Active Minds Chapter Leader and Student Ambassador (Tucson, AZ)
  • Trace Terrell, Peer Educator and Mental Health Advocate (La Pine, OR)
  • Meera Varma, Mental Health Activist & Mental Health Youth Action Forum participant (Los Angeles, CA)

The campaign is part of MTVE’s broader Mental Health is Health initiative, launched in 2021 to tackle the nation’s growing mental health crisis, particularly among youth, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. The initiative underscores that mental health is part of overall health and aims to move people from awareness to action with powerful storytelling and groundbreaking tools.


MTV Entertainment Studios 
MTV Entertainment Studios produces 120+ series annually, including some of today’s biggest hits such as Yellowstone, Emily in Paris, 1923, 1883, George and Tammy, South Park, Tulsa King, The Daily Show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Challenge and Jersey Shore, to name a few, as well as Award-winning documentaries through its acclaimed MTV Documentary Films. MTV Entertainment uses its reach for social impact, spearheading broad change-driven coalitions through mental health and civic engagement campaigns.

Active Minds
Active Minds is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to promoting mental health awareness and providing resources for mental health support, particularly among young adults. With a mission to reduce stigma and encourage open conversations, Active Minds has been a pivotal force in fostering a supportive mental health community.

SOURCE MTV Entertainment Studios

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