Perhaps it is a sign that We are finally entering a new era when it comes to handling the stigma of mental illness in America, when mainstream media outlets use their massive following to promote self-care. Mental health has been ignored for too long in the U.S., and most people that are struggling from any one of many mental health conditions feel they can’t talk about their problems. If you think about it, it makes sense; society has looked down upon individuals struggling with conditions like addiction, depression, and bipolar disorder for decades.
When people feel they must hide their problems lest they are treated differently or disenfranchised, it is unlikely they will seek the care that they desperately require. Isolation and loneliness are the lot of the mentally ill, and when there is no one to talk to many are apt to give up altogether. It isn’t a coincidence that people living with mental health disorders are far more likely to engage in self-harming behaviors or attempt suicide.
Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States in 2016, claiming the lives of nearly 45,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports. Recently, the world lost fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain to suicide, resulting in a national push to open up the dialogue about mental illness. Tragic losses often lead to steps in the right direction!
Premium Cable and Streaming Services Address Mental Health
Some of our readers probably watch shows on Netflix and HBO from time-to-time. Netflix tackles the subject of mental illness in several of its shows, such as 13 Reasons Why and a host of social documentaries. At the beginning of 13 Reasons Why, season 2, the show opens with a disclaimer about reaching out for help for mental health problems.
HBO released a show last weekend called Sharp Objects; the main character of the show has an alcohol use disorder and engages in self-harm. It doesn’t take long for viewers to understand the show’s protagonist Camille Preaker, is battling a mental illness that potentially stems from untreated trauma. The show, which airs on Sunday nights, features an end card disclaimer at the end of each episode, which reads:
“If you or someone you know struggles with self-harm or substance abuse, please seek help by contacting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 1-800-662-HELP (4357).”
Hopefully, young and old viewers alike will feel empowered to reach out for mental health support. Media giants like HBO and Netflix reach millions of homes each day of the week, psychological health disclaimers could give people the courage to ask for help. It takes significant courage to seek assistance, but efforts to erode stigma make it a little easier.
Addiction and Mental Health Treatment
Celebrate Hope is a faith-based addiction and co-occurring mental health disorder treatment center located in San Juan Capistrano, California. We can assist you or a loved one in beginning the life-long journey of recovery. Please contact us for more information.