Monday, October 27, 2014

Do media really help us understand what is mental illness?

The world nowadays is full of people who suffer from a mental illness which also can cause huge amounts of suicide. News and media have finally started to address this by giving more coverage about these people. There is also a movie called “Fox Catcher” this year which talks about mental illness.

According to the NBC News, about 1,100 college students commit suicide every year because of mental illness. As reported in "Ziggy’s Wish”, every year about one million people died worldwide because of mental illness. Many people are surprised that over 50 movie stars are actually struggling with mental disorders; some of them finally give up fighting and choose to die, like Robin Williams. In order to prevent the same tragedy happening again and again, we have to do something and the media has to do something.

In this digital world, media has the power. Here is an article suggesting people care about mental health issue. The NBC Nightly News reported a Sending Silence Packing event in the United State this year. This is an event held to raise awareness of the students attending college who kill themselves because they struggle with a mental illness. Suggestions made from the government can make more people care about mental illness. For example, the Australian government posted a website on the internet which talks about mental illness and shows people how big the issue of mental illness is. After the death of Robin Williams, people started to look at mental illness again and the media got interested. A lot of people kill themselves because they cannot find someone to talk about their issues of mental illness and all they need is a friend and a listener, like in the movies.

For example, in the movie “The Good Will Hunting” , a genius has a farfetched life and a couple of bad friends who make his mental illness worse. All he needs is someone who can help him to direct his life and get on the right track. The psychologist who also has a mental illness since childhood talks to him. With a strong patience, the psychologist finally makes him talk about what he has been through and what he really wants to do in the future and just get on with his dream.

A second movie that has raised awareness is Rain man. This is a movie that talks about how a man finds out he has always had a brother who has mental illness and he finally create a relationship with his brother. The reason why I first saw this movie is just because I love Tom Cruise and I love watching movies, but the reason that I saw it again is because this movie really touched my heart. After Babbitt found out that the reason his brother was taken away from his family is because his brother Raymond accidentally hurt him when they were little. He felt regret and he wanted to stay with his brother and take care of him for the rest of his life, but the mental institution took Raymond back. From these movies, I know that if we really look into the people who have mental illness, we will find out that they are the same as we are and, we can save them by just caring about them and listening to them.

The Pacific Standard shows that people who have mental illness are more likely to cause a gun shooting crime than are mentally healthy people. So, we should not allow mentally ill people to own guns? The media also points out that people who have mental illness are much more violent than mentally healthy people. This year there were shootings in Las Vegas, Seattle, and Santa Barbara. These incidents cause people to be afraid of people who have mental illness and the people who have mental illness to feel shame about telling others they need help,so they lost chance to get help. One blogger wrote an article about why the media do not take mental health issue seriously. In her article, Nicole Knepper points out that media seems to think they should write about physical health and gossip, not about mental illness, even though it affects physical health.

Although the media has some bad messages about people who have mental illness, there are more of them presenting helpful information about good things about mental illness and suggesting people help people who struggled with mental illness. One article also points out that people with mental issues are not like those in the movies, who are often portrayed as really weird and always killing others but they are actually much more better than that. The article also says that the movies nowadays are getting much better. After all, mental illness is not a thing that we have to be afraid of; it is a thing that we have to care about. We have to help the people who have mental illness and give it a chance for these people, we will see the world become better and people with mental health issues live happier lives.

Conclusion update 11.6 2014

After I finished typing this article about mental illness, I try to find out what the real connection between mental illness and the world. Is mental illness consider as a problem in people's mind? Human can only care about an issue until it started to harm themselves and affect their life. Mental illness get the attention of people by the spread on the internet and media. In this digital world, people can easily find articles about mental issue, good things or bad things. During my time responding the comments, there are these kind of thinking that came out in my mind. How will this affect our life? Will the things that we do actually help the mental illness? I can not just say that it will change people's thinking of mental illness, but I will say that at least we tried and there is a chance that this will help. In my point of view, I hope this article will help people understand mental illness better and start pay more attention on those struggled in the mental issue. Mental illness is a dangerous thing that can harm people pretty hard, but I believe that every action that people made will push it getting better. After all, I still have to say that people with mental issue are the same as us, they are us, what you have to do is just look deep inside their heart and listen to them, and treat them like the others. Remember, even a small movement of yours have the ability to turn the world into a better place. Thank you for checking my article.


  1. Good, Tyler! Mental health is an important problem because a lot of suicides happen every year in people who have mental problems. I agree with you that those people who have mental hearth problems should be paid attention. Media can create the influence quickly by spreading different stories and information about mental illness. After I read your post, I want to know what actions people are making now in real life? Is the problem becomes better?

    1. Thank you for reading my article. If you want to know how people help mental illness people, I will say that they post website on the internet and also their are medias report the different event that held for mental illness. For your other question, my answer is Yes, the problem Yes getting better.

  2. Tyler,
    This is a very informative and well written article- nice job! I really like what you said about how mental illnesses are something that we need to help. I feel that it is wrong for people to make it seem like a person with a mental illness is a bad person, just because they have a struggle in life. What would you say is something that could be done for people to help others who may struggle with mental illnesses? I would love to hear your ideas on this! Great blog post, and thank you so much for sharing all of this information!

    1. Thank you, it is my pleasure that you like my article. Helping mental illnesses is not a easy work, for my opinion, you have to be patient and listen. To let all the things out from them is what you want to do. This is just the first step, you have to try to solve the problem or explain the question that they asked and be a friend indeed. Time pass, I think they will get better.

  3. Hi Tyler, you bring to light important issues regarding the media and representation of mental illness. Clearly violence and suicide can be drastic consequences of untreated mental health issues. What are some other ways, besides looking to the media, that we can help take on the problem of mental illness? You mention the importance of us caring about mental illness which would allow everyone to live happier and healthier lives. What are some suggestions you have as to how we may better treat the mental health issues that affect so many people?

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting my article, Annie. To answer your question, I have to say that holding events and improving personal attention will probably be the best and only way. Now, I would love share my thoughts about how can treating mental health issues affect people in a good way. In my point of view, i think that the main reason why mental illness people shot others or chose to die is because no one or a few people actually care about them and have the patience to listen to them. And this action made them feel more upside about the world and made their heart more colder. If we help them, I think it will turn their mind about the world. Also, if you think about more ways to take on the problem of mental illness, I will be glad to hear about it.

  4. Hi Tyler. You are very passionate about the need for using the media to achieve more understanding of mental illness. Do you think what the movies show is accurate? Are the examples you mention helping us feel compassion while also informing us about mental disorders that are poorly understood? Do you think sometimes the movies combine all types of mental and developmental disorders together, which is not accurate? I did find an article that links to a list of movies that have been recognized for furthering our understanding. Thank you for the post and your evident interest in this topic. --Ms. Riches

    1. First of all, thank you for taking your time to commenting and reading my article. And YES, I think that what the movies show is accurate and it can help us improve our understanding of mental illness. Also, i think that is the reason why I put them in my article to support my article. I think it is good for people to know all kinds of mental issue, it can make them understand better. And thanks for the link.

  5. First of all, thank you for taking your time to commenting and reading my article. And YES, I think that what the movies show is accurate and it can help us improve our understanding of mental illness. Also, i think that is the reason why I put them in my article to support my article. I think it is good for people to know all kinds of mental issue, it can make them understand better. Like the developmental disorder is from some bad things happened to them when they are young, but mental illness is a nature illness. And thanks for the link.


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