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Comcast NBCUniversal: 'This Is Us' Was Just What We Needed

The storylines of NBC's hit TV show resonated with viewers across the country.

Comcast NBCUniversal is No. 19 on the DivesityInc Top 50 Companies list

NBC's "This Is Us" captured the hearts of viewers to become the no. 1 new show of the 2016-17 season. The show was also the most talked-about new series of the season in all of television with nearly 7 million total social interactions[1].

Created by Dan Fogelman, the refreshingly honest and provocative series follows the intertwining life stories of a family as they grow up, and grow together. Credited for embracing diversity, "This Is Us" features a white family with an adopted African American son, an overweight woman dealing with weight struggles, and an older LGBTQ African American man who is coming to terms with decisions from his past.
The touching storylines that resonated with viewers across the country were crafted by an ethnically and gender diverse group of writers. Kay Oyegun, a Nigerian-American TV writer, is one of the many voices behind the successful first season of "This Is Us." “Everyone in the writers' room approaches the show from a place of genuine love and desire to authentically develop our characters and their stories," said Kay.
“We knew that we had something special, so we hoped that the show would connect with people who were patient and excited to watch a character-driven narrative on TV. We all hoped for success, and have been blown away by the overwhelming response of our viewers. It has exceeded all of our expectations."
The first season of "This Is Us" averaged a 4.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 14.6 million viewers overall in “live plus seven day" results from Nielsen Media Research, making it the #1 new show of the season in 18-49 and television's #4 entertainment series in that key demographic.
[1]Nielsen Social SCR: 9/5/16 – 5/21/17 Learn more about Comcast NBCUniversal in the 2017 Diversity & Inclusion Report.

Black Men Get Candid About Mental Health

Celebrities are seeking out ways to fight the mental health stigma within the Black community.

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Studies show Black men are particularly concerned about the stigma of mental illness, and apprehensive about seeking help.

Wizdom Powell, PhD, MPH, director of the Health Disparities Institute at University of Connecticut Health and associate professor of psychiatry, said that men of color are generally discouraged from seeking any kind of help, including help with mental health issues.

But some brave men in the very public eye, have decided to tackle the issue hoping to change the way the Black community views getting help.

Earlier this month, Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to help improve mental health services in Chicago. Six mental health providers in Cook County will each get $100,000 grants, and SocialWorks is starting an initiative called "My State of Mind" to help connect people with treatment.

NFL player Brandon Marshall, who struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder, started a nonprofit Project 375.org to help eradicate stigma, increase awareness and improve training and care for youth. He wrote a powerful essay called "The Stigma," last year, where he was candid with his own battles and some of his coping mechanisms that included meditation and journaling.

The conversations around health are happening in other ways, in interviews, on albums, online and on screen.

Jay-Z has come out in interviews to talk about how the experience of therapy helped him grow as a man, overcoming situations, which he describes in his lyrics.

Related Story: Black Men Defy the Racist Stigma That Says Their Trauma is Their Own Fault

On his album "4:44," he released a mini documentary "Footnotes for MaNyfaCedGod," where he gathered a group of Black men to talk candidly about therapy, self-care, and mental health awareness.

He also advocated for therapy at younger ages and in schools.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson posted about his mother's suicide attempt on social media and went on "Oprah's Master Class" on OWN to discuss his own depression and how important it is to know that you are not alone in your struggles.

Related Story: Taraji P Henson on Mental Health: We're Demonized for Expressing Rage for Traumas We've Been Through

Rapper Kid Cudi, in posting about and seeking help for his anxiety struggles back in 2016, inspired users on social media to start the #YouGoodMan hashtag, which became a place for Black men to share knowledge and their stories with support.

Primetime TV shows are breaking the silence in the Black community as well.

Sterling K. Brown star of "This Is Us," Romany Malco Jr. of "A Million Little Things," and Kendrick Sampson and Issa Rae of "Insecure" all struggle on screen with issues and survive.

These actors are tackling conversations around getting help for depression, suicide ideation, panic attacks, and trauma — many issues that plague the Black community based on everyday living experiences.

And talking about it helps.

Marcus and Markeiff Morris, twin brothers and NBA players talked to ESPN about their struggles with depression and trauma from growing up in a violent neighborhood. Marcus Morris, who shared their story, encouraged others, "If you have depression, you should be trying to get rid of it instead of bottling it up and letting it weigh on you and weigh on you and weigh on you."

Markeiff, initially agreed to speak about his illness, but bowed out, possibly a sign that he's not quite ready. There are many men like him.

Hopefully, the more men that come forward to advocate and share, the more others will feel empowered to do the same.

Reader Question: Why do you think Black men struggle to speak openly about their how stress impacts their mental health?