Watch It. Share It. Write About It.
Emotions ran high during the series finale of Parenthood, which aired nationwide Thursday, January 29th. Starring PRISM Award winners Craig T. Nelson, Peter Krause, Monica Potter and Max Burkholder (in his PRISM Award¬-winning role as Max Braverman, a child growing up with Asperger’s syndrome), the NBC series brought into viewers’ homes and lives honest conversation about depression, substance use, mental health, aging, cancer and more. Parenthood has taken a dynamic approach to mental wellness: a family support approach. The show has not only spread awareness of mental illness to millions of fans, but it has enlightened its viewers to the fact that people can recover and live happy, productive lives. Because of its accuracy and genuine style of depicting mental illness and substance use recovery, Parenthood has won five PRISM Awards from Entertainment Industries Council.
Parenthood showrunner Jason Katims has stated that he has woven his autobiography, as a father of a son with Asperger’s syndrome, into the series. His achievement has been to shift his audiences’ focus from the difficulties Max Braverman may face, to his many gifts and talents, at times, even calling Asperger’s his “super power.” This is the first step in fighting stigma and discrimination that too often accompanies these types of diagnoses. Parenthood has aided people in viewing mental health more positively and because of its authenticity, allows them to relate to each character’s experiences, encouraging those in need to seek help.
EIC recognizes the effort put forth by writers Sarah Watson, David Hudgins, Julia Brownell, Jessica Goldberg, Gina Fattore, Ian Deitchman, Kristin Rusk Robinson, Sarah Watson, Jason Katims, Jesse Zwick to tell these authentic stories and encourages you, as a fellow journalist and writer, to consider the impact of accurate, lived experiences in the content you create for your audiences. If you are working on a story that involves openly discussing health and social issues, including mental health and substance use recovery, the EIC Team is available to provide your resources in the form of best practices, style guides and subject matter experts 24/7 and on deadline to support your efforts to address these important issues in an appropriate and compassionate way.