MTV Entertainment Studios Awards Grants to 22 Non-Profit Organizations in More Than 20 Cities Across the Country for Third Annual Mental Health Action Day on May 18

·10 min read

Grants support local activations to shift culture of mental health from awareness to action, empower people to take action for their mental health

NEW YORK, April 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- MTV Entertainment Studios announced today 22 non-profit organizations in more than 20 cities that will receive grant funding for local activations taking place on the third annual Mental Health Action Day on Thursday, May 18, 2023.

Mental Health Action Day was founded to shift mental health culture from awareness to action and is powered by a growing coalition of more than 1800 nonprofits, brands, government agencies and influential leaders from more than 32 countries. For the second year, MTV Entertainment Studios has overseen a grant program to invest in nonprofit organizations working in specific communities to educate, encourage and empower people to take actions to improve their mental health.

"We are experiencing a mental health crisis, especially among young people, and this year, we're encouraging everyone to take one hour for themselves, a loved one or their community," said Jay Osterman, Social Impact Manager at MTV Entertainment Studios. "We are thrilled to empower these 22 organizations to reach local young people, deepen their relationships with local communities and drive mental health actions on the third annual Mental Health Action Day."

Each organization is driving mental health actions in their own unique way. Join them in shifting the mental health culture from awareness to action on Mental Health Action Day on May 18, 2023. Learn more and join as a partner at

2023 MTV Entertainment Studios' Mental Health Action Day Grant Winners:

  1. The Benji Project (Strongertowns) | Port Townsend, Washington | A multisensory pop-up event, or Sensory Fair, open to all community members free of charge. Local middle and high school students will share how they use the five bodily senses to manage stress and reduce anxiety. Everyone who attends the event will have the opportunity to engage in these sensory activities and find those that most effectively help regulate their emotions and improve their mind-body balance.

  2. Magic City Acceptance Center | Birmingham, AL | A month of LGBTQ-affirming mental health-centered programs and events, kicking off on May 18, 2023, and running through Birmingham Pride in early June. These programs are designed to inspire individuals to speak up about their needs, de-stigmatize mental health, and speak with licensed professionals in order to develop long-term plans for support and access to free/sliding scale affirming counselors. 

  3. Black Girls Smile | Atlanta, GA | 'A Day of Play' centered on demonstrating how physical activity plays a crucial role in the holistic mental health of Black girls and women between the ages of 13 - 25 years old. The event will feature opportunities for participants to engage in activities like yoga, team obstacle courses, tug of war, and more.

  4. Climate Mental Health Network | Los Angeles, CA | Will launch 'Playground Earth: Activating Climate Emotions' the first of an annual event on Mental Health Action Day to provide resources and actions for people to foster individual emotional wellbeing and take part in community action to address the mental health impacts of the climate crisis.

  5. The Confess Project of America | Atlanta, GA | The Healing Hair Battle, a live competition at cosmetology school where students will create teams and be challenged to create hairstyles that incorporate mental health action messages such as Active Listening & Validation featuring Miss Georgia USA 2023, Rachel Russaw, as one of the judges.

  6. The Defensive Line | Coppell, Texas | Mental health rally in Coppell, Texas on May 18th to kick off their annual football camp hosted by NFL Defensive Lineman Solomon Thomas. The mental health rally will include three pillars of mental wellness - mind, body, and spirit. Mental health experts will present a brief, inspirational message on the importance of mental wellness.

  7. Drag Story Hour | Digital | Drag Story Hour will host a series of virtual digital events on Mental Health Action Day featuring drag storytellers where they will share their unique stories, direct their viewership to mental health resources focused in states who have passed - or are currently attempting to pass - anti-drag legislation.

  8. El Futuro | Durham, NC | "Voces Unidas: A Day of Community Healing and Mental Health Visibility" will be an all-day celebration of Latinx-youth-led and Latinx-youth-focused mental health activities designed to build awareness of Latinx youth mental health and supportive resources, destigmatize seeking help, and inspire action and healing. The day will also feature parent information sessions on different issues (parenting a LGBTQ child, talking with your child about drugs and alcohol, etc), supportive community resources, and an evening celebration planned by our Youth Advisory Council including food and drink, a bonfire with s'mores, and music.

  9. The HOPE (Healing On Purpose and Evolving) Center - FCBC Community Development Corporation | New York, NY | An after-school symposium for youth called Let's Talk: Youth Mental Health Action Day to strengthen youth engagement and voice in partnership with the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF). Free and open to the public, this event will provide education about mental health, suicide prevention, substance use challenges and care to improve the mental health of young people overall with an emphasis on youth of color.

  10. The Gem Project | Newark, NJ | Will team up with school administration to offer guidance counselors training for them to become Mental Health First Aiders and bring a day of action to students through the arts by a series of art activations with local teaching artists. Overall impact will engage 500 Newark Public School and public charter high school seniors with an action plan to combat stress and anxiety, as they navigate the completion of high school and a successful transition to a college, university or a trade school.

  11. The Hidden Opponent | Several East Coast College Campuses | The Hidden Opponent will partner with Listen Up Cogwell to provide free active listening workshops to various college campuses across the northeast. More than 250 student-athletes and student leaders will be trained in active listening so that they can better support their teammates and peers.

  12. Inner-City Arts | Digital | Will produce a Mental Health Action Day episode of their youth-powered web series, Rated Z For Everyone, using the arts to share important messages to Gen Z about mental health and other subjects of great importance to their peers while also developing an accompanying school curriculum to bring the conversation into the classroom.

  13. Military Basketball Association | Denver, CO | Wheelchair basketball and adaptive sports event for disabled veterans to challenge the stigma that those who suffer from mental illness face their challenges alone partnering with Gold Crown Foundation and former Denver Nuggets Head Coach, Bill Hanzlik to be followed by Mental Health Action panel and conference featuring combat veteran and suicide survivor, Retired Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Thomas Campbell, who is also a standup comedian that speaks on mental health and resiliency.

  14. National Youth Foundation | Philadelphia, PA | The "I Matter" project will launch over 25 poetry and art workshops to help youth in Philadelphia to process their feelings about racism and the high level of violence in their communities. The goal of the "I Matter" project is to help youth develop coping strategies to deal with racism and violence.

  15. Our Minds Matter | DMV | "Move with Music for Mental Health Action Day" will engage thousands of students with a Hidden Healers playlist song via school-wide announcements in schools with OMM clubs in the DC-area, including Washington, DC, Fairfax County, VA, and Montgomery County, MD public schools, as well as OMM's national network of schools. Students will be given a 10-minute to 1-hour action plan depending on school preferences.

  16. Passion for Learning | Gaithersburg, MD | Take Action! For Mental Wellness event on Mental Health Action Day 2023 will provide an opportunity for high-school and college-aged students to take a meaningful break from the hustle and grind of AP tests and final exams and discover strategies for reclaiming their mental wellness through guided meditation and deep relaxation. This event will be hosted at the Takoma Park/ Silver Spring campus of Montgomery College and will be open both to students and to the local community.

  17. Pittsburgh Warriors (Malone Family Foundation) | Pittsburgh, PA | Celebrity + Disabled Veteran Hockey game in partnership with former NHL star Ryan Malone. Pregame panel discussing the power of sports x mental health. Will produce highlight reel and hold auction afterward w/ signed jerseys to benefit the Warriors.

  18. Rainbow Labs | Los Angeles, CA | The Trevor Project Reported in 2022 that 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. Rainbow Labs will highlight the challenges of LGBTQ+ youth mental health and bring together a half-day conference of youth development providers, mental health professionals, and stakeholders to discuss solutions and training to support LGBTQ+ youth mental health.

  19. Sounds of Saving | New York, NY | SoS's Mental Health Action Day programming will connect high school students in the outer boroughs of NYC, in particularly at-risk populations, to musicians and their stories of perseverance. This collaborative program will be a mix of storytelling, performance, discussion, and taking action.

  20. Tavaris Jones Foundation | Central Arkansas | Will host "Youth Minds Matter" Conference. This conference will include a 1-day event with a full day curriculum of Teen Mental Health First Aid and certify 100 9th -12th grade students in the Pulaski County Central Arkansas area. Quinyatta Mumford, founder and CEO is a Certified Health Education Specialist and a licensed mental health training provider. She is currently the only trained teen Mental Health First Aid provider in Arkansas.

  21. Taylor Made Re-Entry | Genesee, MI | Taylor Made Re-Entry will offer a mental health action seminar at the Genesee County Jail for both the residents and staff. The morning session with 50 jailed participants; will comprise of a session with 25 women and a session of 25 men where participants will receive mental health resources, books, materials, that will help them cope and build resilience. Later in the afternoon, there will be a mental health workshop for interested staff. Food, speakers, and resources will be made available to staff who are struggling professionally and personally with mental health issues. With a recent increase of suicide attempts by the residents of the jail. It's important to address the mental health of everyone as suicide attempts have an impact on all people.

  22. WisdoMania Foundation | Los Angeles, CA | Peer Support Visual Arts workshop in local highschool incorporating breath work, meditation, art, and sound healing. Students will be prompted to paint a scene of when they've felt most supported or how they support their peers, then share with the class.

MTV Entertainment Studios
MTV Entertainment Studios produces 120+ series annually, including some of today's biggest hits such as Yellowstone, Emily in Paris, 1923, 1883, George and Tammy, South Park, Tulsa King, The Daily Show, RuPaul's Drag Race, The Challenge and Jersey Shore, to name a few, as well as award-winning documentaries through its acclaimed MTV Documentary Films. MTV Entertainment uses its reach for social impact, spearheading broad change-driven coalitions through mental health and civic engagement campaigns.

About Mental Health Action Day
Mental Health Action Day is an open-source movement of brands, organizations, government agencies, and cultural leaders to drive culture from mental health awareness to mental health action.

The third Mental Health Action Day will take place on Thursday, May 18, 2023, with a mission to encourage and empower people to take action on mental health -- whether for themselves, for their loved ones, or for their communities, because mental health is health.

Learn more at and

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SOURCE Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios