New Animated Videos Address Mental Health Needs of Underserved New Yorkers

The videos are part of an initiative to reduce distress and trauma in communities that face lack of access and cultural barriers to behavioral health care

An innovative public health initiative created to assist New York City’s racially and ethnically diverse communities that have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic has added four new animated videos that address mental health wellness and self-care.

The new videos are part of The Community Mental Health Project, launched by Columbia University and The New York Public Library last year in partnership with the National Black Leadership Commission on Health (Black Health).

Supported by the Leon Levy Foundation, the project aims to raise awareness around mental health and wellness. While everyone can use and benefit from the resources, the initiative was created with a specific focus on Black and Latinx New Yorkers.

So far, the project has released six of 10 short animations that cover a range of topics and are designed to help people through the ups and downs of life, from feeling misunderstood to overcoming stigma individually and collectively as a community. The animations will be paired with a series of virtual and in-person programs and workshops to take place throughout the year. 

You can view the first six videos in English (two of them are also in Spanish). The first two videos debuted in November. Four more were added in early February during Black History Month. They include a guide on how to find affordable support and resources in the community (see video at top of page).

Another video offers resources for older adults and seniors:



The third video helps young people who are seeking support how to start:



And the fourth new video helps adults listen to young people who feel misunderstood by elders:


In the coming weeks, there will be a total of 10 videos in both English and Spanish. Forthcoming videos will address such topics as overcoming stigma and the impact of COVID-19 on young adult lives.

Producers at Columbia Department of Psychiatry’s Center for Practice Innovations worked on the project with teens, young adults, and seniors in neighborhoods significantly impacted by health disparities and the pandemic.

The animated videos, each no more than five minutes and available in English and Spanish, will be paired with a series of virtual and in-person programs beginning March 17. The programs led by experts on mental health and wellness will include video screenings.

Media Contact

Carla Cantor

Director of Communications, Columbia Psychiatry
347-913-2227 |