Hollywood & Mental Health?

how is mental health depicted today?

Here are the facts.

  • Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
  • 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
  • About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).

How does Hollywood represent this?

Through movies such as Silver Linings Playbook (2012), The Black Swan (2010), and It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010), mental health is being represented to larger audiences through movies that involve famous actors. The movies often show the good and the bad of the movies, although they are not always solely the basis of plotlines.

Through Hollywood, awareness for mental disorders is also being spread by famous faces. Catherine Zeta Jones is now an advocate for bipolar disorder through her own experiences, and Demi Lovato has long been an advocate for depression and anxiety. Howie Mandel has spoken about his own experiences with OCD, and other celebrities have also brought light to their own disorders and disorders that have affected those around them.

Here are some resources:

  • Talk to your RA! They have enough experience to lend an open an ear and refer you to the proper resources. Some of them have even had experiences with mental health themselves and have used to resources that are offered on campus.
  • Peer Tutors: Located in SUB. They are your peers who are fully trained and willing to offer you advice and also be a friend.
  • Counseling and Clinical Services: Located in SUB. The university offers psychiatrists and psychologists that can talk to you about any struggles you may be experiencing.
  • University Wellness Centre: Located in SUB. They can refer you to outside resources and offer you information when it comes to medication, etc.
Whatever resources you choose, remember that the first step involves speaking to somebody. Whether this is a close friend or family member, know that mental health is something that should be a priority. Although there is stigma around the subject, know that you are not alone and there are people who genuinely care and want the best for you.
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