Media and Mental health

How does the portrayal of disability and mental health in the media impact public perception and understanding of these issues?


  • Media can either reinforce negative stereotypes and stigmatization of individuals with disabilities or mental health conditions or help destigmatize these conditions. For example, portraying characters with disabilities or mental health challenges as villains or objects of pity can contribute to stigmatization, while portraying them as relatable, capable individuals can help reduce stigma. Also, media can influence how people perceive the prevalence of disabilities and mental health conditions. Accurate and diverse representation can help viewers understand that these conditions are a part of the human experience, affecting people from all walks of life. Media can serve as a powerful tool for educating the public about the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities or mental health conditions. Thoughtful and well-researched portrayals can help raise awareness and promote understanding. Media can shape public opinion, which in turn can influence policymakers and drive changes in legislation and policies related to disability and mental health. Positive portrayals can garner support for improved services and accommodations.

    With these few examples the influence which media has is, it's up to media producers, consumers, and advocates like you and I to play a role in shaping how these topics are represented in the media.

  • BKiwu
    BKiwu ✭✭✭✭✭

    The good thing is that with platforms like EnableMe, we have the capability to shape the narrative ourselves and also influence positive change through other forms like poems like @MikkiTarz does and also through podcasts and self publishing mediums like YouTube. Moreover, mainstream media more so Sign TV in Kenya and to some extent Hollywood have started embracing disability in more positive light and portraying characters with disabilities as fit as everyone else. A case in point is Eternals by Walt Disney, and CODA by Apple TV. Theory of Everything based on the life of Stephen Hawking also shows persons with disabilities in positive light especially on the extraordinary intellectual capacity of Professor Stephen Hawking.