About the Digital Storytelling Guide

The engagement between digital content creators and their audiences can have a powerful impact on the well-being of both communities. That relationship can influence how followers perceive themselves, think about mental health, and undertake actions that may either support or compromise their overall well-being. This unique dynamic has given rise to several pressing mental health challenges:

  • Content creators live highly visible, public lives in which the personal and professional are intertwined. They face a unique set of challenges to their well-being, including exposure to regular, intense vitriol; constant fear of losing relevance; and persistent pressure to perform.
  • Many content creators build relationships with their audiences by sharing deeply personal stories and experiences. The way those stories are told can have a significant impact on their followers’ knowledge, attitudes, and actions around mental health.
  • A content creator’s community often regards them as a friend, role model, or source of advice, leading individuals to ask for help or express distressing thoughts in comments or messages. It can be challenging for creators to provide support in a manner that is both helpful to their followers and respectful of their own boundaries.

The Digital Storytelling Guide is a project of The Jed Foundation (JED), powered by the Mental Health Storytelling Initiative and informed by the Mental Health Media Guide. Developed in collaboration with creators and leading experts in mental health and media, The Digital Storytelling Guide provides:

  • Creator-specific mental health resources and self-care information.
  • Storytelling tools and tips for creating safe, impactful content on topics including mental health conditions, body image, climate anxiety, peer support, and major life events such as breakups and loss.
  • Information on how creators can offer resources and work with nonprofits and experts to support their community while protecting their own well-being.

Creation of the Digital Storytelling Guide is supported by MTV Entertainment Studios.

The Jed Foundation

JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.

Connect with JED! Email | X (formerly Twitter) | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn | Snapchat | Pinterest | TikTok

Mental Health Storytelling Coalition
The Mental Health Storytelling Initiative uses the power of storytelling to improve mental health, both for storytellers and their audiences. MHSI, launched with support from MTV Entertainment and housed at USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative, oversees the Mental Health Storytelling Coalition, an unprecedented multi-sector partnership between more than 70 leading entertainment industry partners and mental health organizations. In 2021, MHSI launched the Mental Health Media Guide, a groundbreaking, comprehensive resource for content creators designed to help expand positive mental health portrayals.