Meet on movies and mental health


The depiction of mental health in the media and in movies came into focus at the ‘Mental Health Cafe’ organised by the Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF) on Sunday.

“When we conducted a study, nearly 60 per cent of the people said their perception of mental health came from the movies they had watched and its general depiction in the news media and literature,” said R. Thara, Director of SCARF.

Initiating the discussion, R. Venkatesh, Executive Editor of Kalki magazine, said many positive steps were taken up by print media to increase awareness about mental health.

“A large number of Tamil novels that speak about mental health are available, but what we need now is more perspective on the current situation in society,” he said.

Jaya Shreedhar, Adjunct faculty at the Asian College of Journalism, said: “Studies in U.K. say that one in four people have some sort of mental illness and yet, many remain very much removed from believing in its existence. Even in our movies, the focus is more on mental conditions that are out of the ordinary and never on common, everyday mental illnesses.”

Karu Palaniappan, Tamil filmmaker, said there were many stereotypes about the depiction of mental illnesses in films that were shown to be extremely dramatic.

“A more realistic portrayal will ensure that the stigma and shame that people still hold on to about seeking help for their conditions are removed,” he said.

There were not enough takers for a realistic portrayal of mental illness, he added.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2018 6:12:28 PM |

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