Stereotypes stigmatising mental illness can create barriers and misunderstanding in the community.
The media influences the way we think, shaping our beliefs and our reaction to issues. It is also a primary source of information regarding mental illness for the majority of Australians, providing the community with facts, figures and opinion on mental health issues.
Often the media helps to improve attitudes – accurate and positive stories about people who live with a mental illness can tell us how people manage their symptoms and to live with hope. The media can also provide an understanding of how wide-spread mental illness is in the community and that anyone can suddenly be diagnosed with a mental illness.
However the media can also perpetuate stigma. Inaccurate or sensationalised reporting can affect the way people with a mental illness are treated, if you’re living with mental illness stigma, is one more stress you don’t need.
By reporting inappropriate news stories, commentary, advertisements or products to StigmaWatch you are helping to change community attitudes, making it known that stigma won’t be tolerated. Additionally you are helping SANE StigmaWatch advocate for people living with mental illness, their carers and their families.
Click here to make a StigmaWatch report.