Controversy: Evaluating Media’s Accuracy

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I like that folks have been discussed representations of mental health in the media and in everyday TV shows as well. This was a great movie example as it shows that media can be used to bust stigma regarding mental illness: “The movie A Beautiful Mind gets played by Russel Crowe as the character John Nash who was a gifted mathematician. He got diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic. The film show how Nash tries to balance his family and work life in spite of his illness that eventually overtook his life. I thought the movie did an excellent job in depicting Nash’s brilliance and his illness at the same time.”

I agree that movies and TV shows can also falsely depict mental health disorders which can lead to fear, stigma, and discrimination towards mental health. Additionally, movies like “Bowling for Columbine (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” (2002) point out how the media excites fear and tends to perpetuate biases and can lead to racism and discrimination.

Bridging from the discussion last week, the media definitely has a powerful influence over what’s considers normal and abnormal behavior. It reminds me that one thing I have come to appreciate is that we, as in human beings, all have a mental health as it is part of general health and wellness. Our mental health can vary depending on many factors. It can be healthy or unhealthy in much the same way our physical health is. This tends to be on a continuum for most people rather than an all or nothing thing.

After reading everyone else’s posts you provided the following addition about how the media confabulates mental health and violence: You stated “Though, certain mental health factors should not be eliminated from study of those who become violent, the wide focus on the subject that the media has taken sometimes only fuels stereotyping and may sway the public to believe mental illness as the solitary reason behind mass shootings. These, after all, are not scientific journals, research articles or collegiate related documents; it is television, prime time. ” Thoughts here?

Additionally, I wonder are there ways that mental health organizations, like the APA, can help to shape the view of media depictions around mental health. Think about how often mass shootings have been paired with mental health for example. Check out this guide for the media produced by the American Suicidology Association (ASA) on recommendations in reporting post-suicide and comment on your thoughts on how this type of response can be used for other topics in mental health. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..

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