Monday, December 31, 2012

Media’s Failed Approach to Madness, Part 1

Faith Rhyne
December 29, 2012

“So, how does the media affect our views of mental health?”

When I introduce the elective recovery education course called In The Media, I don’t show any news clips or magazine articles. I don’t pull up any statistics or make any statements. I don’t  offer any definition of stigma.

I just ask that simple question: “How does the media affect our views of mental health?”

Some students speak up immediately, while others settle back in their chairs to think and to listen. Some raise their hands a little, start to speak and then quiet down again.

“It’s like they make it out like your, like you’re…” The young woman studied the ends of her hair as she spoke, dark-lined eyes cast down.

“They make it like you’re crazy!” The older woman beside her exclaimed, her voice emphatic, exasperated, a little angry.

The young woman looked up, looked around at the class, “Yeah!” she said, “they make it look like you’re all crazy! Like you’re just some…I don’t know… crazy person!”

She smiled when she realized that she was in a room full of people who, in their way, understood exactly what she was talking about.
>the rest of the story<

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