New nonprofit launches, dedicated to illuminating the art and science of beneficial media with an emphasis on mental health, founded by Mike Wilson (games-industry veteran), backed by Nanea Reeves (founder and CEO of TRIPP) and Terry Gross (prominent civil rights attorney)
SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Just in time for Mental Health Awareness Month, Medicinal Media, a brand new nonprofit organization, has launched by showing the world its first project: an online publication not quite like any other. The site, medicinal-media.org, is exploring the intersection of art and science as it relates to wellness, with a focus on mental health. Digital media offerings, of one type or another, are at the core of what they mean when they reference Medicinal Media.
As for the “medicinal” part, that includes more than you might assume.
“We’re showing readers how to use media, including art, more mindfully,” says Elizabeth Seward, who is executive editor. “Our stories cover media that’s been designed specifically for wellness — like video games that can offer therapeutic treatment, playlists created by music therapists, and apps meant to assist with meditation — but also everyday art and media offerings that can be enjoyed and embraced in evidence-based ways for better health.”
The publication features original, curious, and inspiring stories that help readers understand how to best consume, create, and otherwise utilize media with intention. You’ll find just as much science as you will personal narrative and, to round it all out, the visuals are a point of pride for the nonprofit.
Jennymarie Jemison, Medicinal Media’s art director, gets to do something that’s quickly becoming rare these days: commission and license original editorial artwork for the pieces. “Finding artists that align with the perspective of the authors and being able to pay them for their beautiful work is so rewarding,” Jemison shares. But lovely artwork and articles aren’t all the site brings to the world’s table. Rob VanAlkemade is Medicinal Media’s executive producer and is at the helm of video creation. He has decades of experience working on documentaries and network programs, but this project stands out from the rest.
“From my first job in media interviewing Holocaust survivors for Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation many years back to producing and directing Digital Addiction episodes for A&E a few months ago, I’ve been so motivated and grateful when my work has been beneficial in some way — socially, culturally, historically,” says VanAlkemade. He explains that having projects that feel deeply rewarding isn’t always the norm, but things are different with this undertaking. “Now, at Medicinal Media, there’s a full-time, intrinsic benefit to this work — making media about beneficial media, addressing so many critical issues with compelling science, art, and incredibly life-affirming information.”
Mike Wilson, founder of Medicinal Media, is also excited about the endeavor. Wilson is known throughout the world of indie games (Devolver Digital, DeepWell DTx, Gathering of Developers, Gamecock Media Group, Take-Two Interactive, id Software, Good Shepherd Entertainment) and has witnessed the transformative power of media, specifically video games, over the course of his career. “The importance of digital media as a tool for healing in the ongoing mental health crisis — which we’re currently losing by a landslide with traditional means, even when people are lucky enough to have access to them — cannot be underestimated,” Wilson says. “Digital media is accessible to most people around the planet, much of it for free or at a significantly lower cost than traditional therapy and medicine.”
According to the still-small team at Medicinal Media, this project is about inspiring curiosity, hope, and, cliche as it might sound, change.
For Kelly Knoche, the executive director, skills from her background as a K-12 educator and founder of The Teaching Well nonprofit have been handy in this mission to explore and share. “I see Medicinal Media as another iteration of what has moved me professionally since the beginning: a desire to make the practice of self and collective care accessible to as many people as possible,” Knoche says. “In a world where we are simultaneously intertwined with technology while loudly stating our fears of it, Medicinal Media searches for ways we can have a nourishing relationship with technology that’s worth celebrating.”
“We’re so very excited to investigate along with our audience,” Wilson adds.
As a nonprofit organization, Medicinal Media depends on donations to operate. To learn more about supporting this work, reach out to kelly(@)medicinal-media.org. To explore the stories, science, art, or simply sign up for the newsletter, visit medicinal-media.org.
Medicinal Media (email@example.com)