Day 6 – Tuesday, Nov. 6 News-style post #NHBPM
Geraldo Rivera: This just in… MENTALLY ILL MAN running havoc with drawing Cartoons. Chato Stewart: Umm, I don’t run much. I just draw about living mental health issues… Caption: Sensational news stories get the most viewersMental Health Hero Dr. Deborah Serani is the author of the self help/memoir “Living with Depression” and is a licensed psychologist and certified psychoanalyst in practice for over twenty years. Dr. Deb knows the power of media in an article she wrote: “If It Bleeds, It Leads: Understanding Fear-Based Media” she highlights some very pointed facts about the news media. “newscasts is that the breaking news story doesn’t go beyond a surface level. The need to get-the-story-to-get-the-ratings often causes reporters to bypass thorough fact-checking.”
The saddest part of sensationalizing news media is that we sometimes perpetuate the leading stories because of a few “bad seeds.“ These bad seeds are usually people who are in crisis and many times have fallen through the cracks of society to the point of no return. And then other times, they are neighbors and friends that for one reason or another do horrific and gruesome acts of violence and make leading stories. Usually you’ll hear the broadcaster saying, “the individual was disturbed“, “the assailant was mentally ill “, or simply saying: “The person suffered from a mental health /bipolar/ depression.“
Sometimes all it takes is one horrific gruesome act of violence by one individual to then classify a whole group as violent and a threat to society. Therefore making anyone with a mental illness stereotypically crazy, violent, nut jobs stocking you in the shadows.
Bob Carolla, director of media relations for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said about stereotypes:“There’s a distancing for people with mental illness, usually with the perception of, ‘Oh, if they have a mental illness, they must be violent.’ And that’s such a low percentage that we would be talking about,” .
Ron Honberg, national director for policy and legal affairs at NAMI, said stereotypes “impacts negatively on people’s ability to get jobs, to find housing, to have social relationships,” he said. “It’s as big a barrier to recovery probably as the symptoms themselves.”
SStatistically speaking, more so-called “normal” people commit crimes than their mentally ill counterparts. I always found humor as a good way to bring this point home.