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Authors

Sharon Blady

Abstract

Over seven years, BTS have organically embedded consistent mental health messaging and modelling of various mental health modalities, representing innovation within mental health discourse, within and outside the pop and K-pop culture and fandom. Their personal and artistic journeys have resulted in songs, imagery, and relationship dynamics within the group and within and between their fans ARMY, that organically model behaviours associated with mental health therapeutic modalities and normalize the discussion of mental health and well-being. This practice is vitally important in the effort to end stigma and encourage mental health well-being and recovery. BTS’s authenticity establishes empathy with their audience ARMY and increases their ability to deliver these messages effectively. This includes fostering the creation of a peer support community within the group that extends to their fanbase ARMY, and from which fan-created mental health programs have emerged. BTS’s innovation will be explored by examining content creation throughout their career, illustrating their consistent and organic messaging, culminating in overt and conscious mental health content in their latest album BE, which was released three weeks after the initial paper was presented, and provides proof of concept.

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