Entertainment Industry Guide to Children's Mental Health
Accurately Portraying Children's Mental Health in Entertainment
There are many important stories to tell about children's mental health. As a member of the Entertainment Industry, YOU have a powerful opportunity to accurately depict problems and show solutions.
This guide provides ideas for writers to use in storylines that include children. Creating storylines that portray positive experiences can address misconceptions that prevent kids and caregivers from seeking help.
View Our Supplemental Resources from Mental Health Experts Below
Mental Health Language
Some people are reluctant to seek care because of how mental health disorders are talked about see how to use correct, non-stigmatizing language.
Common Emotions VS a Mental Health Concern
There’s a difference between a child feeling anxious and having an anxiety disorder. How would a parent know if their child’s worries are a sign of something more serious? Use examples that explain the difference.
Warning Signs of Suicide
Even children under 12 can struggle with thoughts of suicide. As scary as it is, talking directly to a child can help. How would a parent or a teacher start that conversation? Depicting these conversations and signs can help inform viewers.
Types of Therapists
What do the various terms for counselors and mental health professionals mean? Make sure your language around therapists is accurate.
Teaching Kids About Emotions
Kids often feel out of control when their emotions are strong. Learn about healthy ways for a parent or other caregivers to help a child with those emotions.
Daily Check-Ins & Conversations
Healthy adult-child relationships are one of the most important things for children's mental wellness. Our conversation starters give examples of open-ended questions a parent, teacher, coach or mentor might ask on screen.
Helping Kids Cope With Emotions
There are many ways to show adults building healthy relationships with children in their lives. During times of stress, adults can help children handle big emotions by using calm-down strategies.
Kids who feel connected to their school, family or community are mentally healthier than children who feel isolated or lonely. Highlight how parents/caregivers can increase inclusion and belonging in children where they feel welcomed, supported and accepted.
Social Media & Mental Health
Social media is everywhere and lots of parents are concerned about it. When is a child ready for it? How can parents protect children online? How does social media impact certain children’s mental health conditions? Show thoughtful use of screen time and engagement as well as healthy habits in a way that makes it appealing to others.
We're Ready to Help
Need a consultation on a specific plot/script? Please let us know that you received the Entertainment Guide and tell us a little about the project you’re working on so we can connect you with a mental health expert best suited to give you feedback.