As we start into the month of October, we typically think of the pumpkins, scary movies, trick ‘r treating, and costume parties. However, something that we should keep in mind is that it is also Depression Awareness Month. This should be considered especially because many horror films are based off of the Hollywood view of how an individual in a psychiatric hospital would be and act–and it’s pretty terrifying–and it’s wrong.
We need to reject stereotypical and inaccurate portrayals of mental illness, and help other people become more aware of how these views add to the stigma and biases about mental illness, and how individuals with mental illnesses should be considered “dangerous.” We should aim to help people truly understand these illnesses and how they can impact an individual’s life. We should also work towards educating people about how individuals with mental illness are not always dangerous, and that most conditions, such as depression, can be successfully treated.
Hannah Sutherland, MA, LPA (Temp)
WKPIC Doctoral Intern