“Shining a light on the mental health crisis” — a program by UCLA’s Center for Scholars & Storytellers.
I was fortunate to attend UCLA’s Center for Scholars & Storytellers “Shining a light on the mental health crisis” program with two incredible speakers, Dr. Nora Volkow and Brandon Staglin.
Nora D. Volkow, M.D., is Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health. NIDA is the world’s largest funder of research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. Dr. Volkow’s work has been instrumental in demonstrating that drug addiction is a brain disorder. Brandon Stagline is the President of One Mind, where he channels his deep experience in communications, advocacy, and personal schizophrenia recovery to drive brain health research programs to heal lives.
The UCLA Center for Scholars & Storytellers’ mental health work provides storytelling resources and Media & Teen Mental Health reports. The work illustrates that shows targeted at teenagers portraying tough topics have the potential to support them in a time when the mental health crisis is more pronounced than ever. And, the center’s results demonstrate that these kinds of challenging, realistic stories inspire youth to talk and learn about mental health issues and look up mental health information.
Highlights from the Media & Teen Mental Health Report:
The center’s big idea is: What if we can harness the power of stories to help young people searching for mental health information and support? The Center for Scholars & Storytellers believe storytelling can play a distinct role in meeting the challenges of the mental health crisis in two ways:
- Indirectly, by destigmatizing mental health issues, modeling help-seeking behavior, and supporting vulnerable youth so they feel less alone.
- Directly, by providing resources.
The Center for Scholars & Storytellers is the only youth-centered organization that bridges the gap between social science research and media creation. We collaborate with the creative community to unlock the power of storytelling to help the next generation thrive and grow.