SHOWTIME/MTV Partner With Active Minds and YouTube To Launch Digital Experience Designed To Teach Young People A.S.K. – New ‘Stop, Drop and Roll’ for Emotional Support – and Partners With Harvard’s Center for Health Communication

In Lead Up to Mental Health Action Day, SHOWTIME/MTV Partners with Leading Youth Mental Health Organizations and Digital Platforms to Meet Young People Where They Are: Online
May 16, 2024 8:00 AM ET

May 16, 2024 /3BL/ - SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios, in partnership with leading youth and young adult mental health nonprofit Active Minds, today launched a YouTube-based choose-your own-adventure-style interactive video designed to teach young people the new “stop, drop and roll” for emotional support: A.S.K., which stands for Acknowledge, Support and Keep-in-Touch. The program aims to close the gap of nearly 70 percent of young people who say they don’t feel prepared to support a friend through an emotional struggle by meeting young people where they are, including in the digital world. To explore the A.S.K. digital experience, visit

“The research shows that most young people live online – and while they want to help each other, they do not know how to help a friend who is struggling,” said Erika Soto Lamb, Vice President of Social Impact at SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios. “With the average American teenager spending more than seven hours a day looking at a screen, we wanted to meet young people where they are. The A.S.K. digital experience launching ahead of the 4th annual Mental Health Action Day on May 16th is designed to help young people learn and practice A.S.K., the new ‘stop, drop and roll’ for how to help a friend.”

"Youth and young adults are changing how they talk about and handle mental health in this country, and providing them with A.S.K is a simple and easy to execute three-step plan to support someone in need.” said Active Minds Founder and Executive Director Alison Malmon. “Through our work and partnerships at more than 1,000 schools and campuses across the nation, we witness the impact that comes out of youth and young adults mobilizing to become champions for mental health advocacy. With the rollout of the A.S.K. interactive YouTube program and digital experience, we are excited to inform and engage youth and young adults to lead change."

This digital experience is part of the next phase of SHOWTIME/MTV’s Mental Health is Health Initiative, designed to support young people as they navigate, share, and support each other’s mental health. In this interactive choose-your-own adventure style YouTube video, users put themselves in the shoes of Charlie, a young person navigating how to support a friend. Charlie has just run into Luna at the local coffee shop and needs help guiding the conversation. As the user helps Charlie decide what to say, they will practice using A.S.K., the new "stop, drop and roll" of supporting a friend. By creating a new simple, yet effective and memorable way for anyone to help friends, colleagues, classmates, teammates, family members, SHOWTIME/MTV and Active Minds aim to teach people how to support each other through life’s emotional challenges.

"Video is an incredibly effective format for sharing mental health information in engaging, digestible, and emotionally supportive ways,” said Dr. Garth Graham, Global Head of YouTube Health. “YouTube Health is happy to partner with MTV and Active Minds to reach young people with important mental health resources and support mental health storytelling online."

Alongside the release of the A.S.K. digital experience, SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios is partnering with Active Minds and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health Communication to explore how social media content about how to offer emotional support might help young people. This research study will test ways to boost the number of young people who feel capable of helping friends, while also helping to define best practices for disseminating evidence-based information about mental health to digital creators with millions of followers across digital channels. Ultimately, this work will result in the development of a Creator Guide that leverages evidenced-based frameworks like A.S.K. to help young people support their friends.

"We are excited to work with A.S.K. to conduct rigorous randomized controlled trial survey research,” says Matt Motta, a member of the Harvard Chan School Center for Health Communication research team and Boston University School of Public Health professor. “Insights from our work will allow us to assess how exposure to social media videos that feature evidence-based mental health content might make young people more comfortable with—and more capable of—emotionally supporting their friends.”

A.S.K., which launched at the VMAs last September, has already provided connection opportunities for young people across the county, appearing on more than 50 college campuses including participating in the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy’s “We Are Made to Connect Campus Tour,” at New York Comic Con with RuPaul’s Drag Race, at a Detroit Pistons game, at the White House Easter Egg Roll and on the sidelines of Art Basel Miami Beach, the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four Tip Off Tailgate.

About SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios & Paramount Media Networks

SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios & Paramount Media Networks is a global network of media assets that reaches over one billion people in more than 180 countries featuring some of the most iconic brands in entertainment including SHOWTIME, MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Network among others – and, its Studios arm which produces 120+ series annually, including some of today’s biggest hits such as Yellowstone, Yellowjackets, Emily in Paris, 1883, 1923, George & Tammy, South Park, Tulsa King, RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Challenge and Jersey Shore, to name a few. SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios uses its reach for social impact, spearheading broad change-driven coalitions through its Mental Health is Health and youth voter access initiatives.

About Active Minds

Active Minds is the largest nonprofit in the United States mobilizing youth and young adults to change the culture around mental health. By amplifying the collective, diverse voice of youth and young adults, we are building a movement of lasting champions who improve mental health norms, forever changing how mental health is valued and prioritized in society. To learn more, visit

About YouTube Health

YouTube Health’s mission is to make high-quality health information accessible to everyone. We partner with public health and clinical experts from all over the world to provide equitable access to the best and brightest thinking in medicine and public health available right on YouTube. Learn more at

About Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health Communication

Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health Communication equips public health leaders to credibly communicate health information to an increasingly skeptical and fragmented world. Our goal: to define, teach, and share best practice in health and science communication. As part of this mission, our Center researches new strategies for connecting the public with the evidence-based information they need on the social platforms where they find their information.