As the stigma around mental health awareness slowly fades, HBO has decided to add mental health awareness warnings to select series to educate viewers.
The warnings were announced as part of the premium channel's "It's OK" initiative highlighting and starting the conversation around mental issues. HBO teamed up with the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) to create the warnings. The warnings will air before TV series and films like Euphoria, Barry and The Sopranos.
The mental health initiative has been a welcomed undertaking by the premium channel. “HBO has always been at the forefront of telling stories featuring complex characters, some of whom deal with mental illness, from The Sopranos to Euphoria, encouraging more conversation around the different facets of mental health,” HBO Vice President of Brand and Product Marketing Jason Mulderig stated. “We are not saying ‘viewer discretion is advised.’ We are saying ‘viewer conversation is encouraged.’”
Along with the warnings, HBO has also created a short-form series titled Doctor Commentaries with the cooperation of clinical psychologist and mental health advocate Dr. Ali Mattu. Dr. Mattu has been tapped to present seven 2-3 minute shorts based around characters from different HBO series dealing with mental issues.
"It’s easy to overlook symptoms of mental illness and examples of mental health when we’re watching a show," Dr. Mattu said in a statement. "There’s so much we can learn within certain scenes of these selected shows and we hope the commentaries give viewers a new perspective on mental health.”
TV shows like Euphoria, Girls, Barry and The Sopranos, which will be airing the content warnings, are available on HBO NOW and HBO GO.