Mental Health Stigma In Movies
You don’t have to be ‘mad’ to be in the movies – but the film industry has generally shown a shaky vision of mental health. It’s not that cinema evades ‘taboo’ themes here; it’s more that it tends to swing wildly from sentimentality to sensationalism. Mental health stigma is spread by movies.
So what exactly is the Stigma?
A stigma is a mark, a stain, a blemish. People with mental illness may face stigma – they may be treated as different, as if they are somehow less than other people. The stigma is not true or fair, but it still hurts.
Some of the harmful effects of stigma are:
- Reluctance to seek help or treatment
- Lack of understanding by family, friends, co-workers or others
- Fewer opportunities for work, school or social activities or trouble finding housing
- Bullying, physical violence or harassment
- Health insurance that doesn’t adequately cover your mental illness treatment
- The belief that you’ll never succeed at certain challenges or that you can’t improve your situation
How Cinema Stigmatizes Mental Illness?
Movies are the medium of mass communication. Every movie has only two types of endings… i.e either filmmakers show you the conclusion of the story (boy gets the girl and they live happily ever after.) or they give you chance to draw the conclusion.( Movies like Zodiac or Memories of Murder). Most of the movies have conclusion in the end which creates opinion. Some of the common mental health stigmas shown in the movies are
- Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia are seen as so disruptive to society than those with such conditions must be isolated from society altogether.
- Movies focus on the individual with mental illness rather than framing mental illness as a societal issue. Consequently, media consumers are more likely to blame the individual for the illness.
- People with mental illness suffer from over generalization in movie portrayals; everybody with a specific condition is expected to portray the same characteristics of the disease. For example, suicide is associate with depression and psycho killer is associated with schizophrenia.
- Movies portray mental illness as being untreatable or unrecoverable.
This needs to be changed. We need to kill the stigma. Since last year mental health stigma is bothering me so much. So I decided to change this situation.
Be the change that you wish to see in the world. -Mahatma Gandhi
Hence we are making a world’s first no nonsense full length feature film ‘Sarah’ which will deal with the mental health awareness. We are purposely making this movie through crowdfunding so that people can connect with the movie directly.Please visit Sarah The Film to know more about the project and please subscribe.
We are starting a global mental health revolution. But we need you help. I alone cannot but together we can.
Remember that the revolution is what is important, and each one of us, alone, is worth nothing.
Please join us. Thank you very much for reading this post. Please share it with as much people as possible.