In this episode of Academic Ramblings we focus on the ways in which mental health representation in the media, and games specially, impact the larger discussion around mental health and mental illness.
The media has always been a source of information about mental health. Television and film portrayals – both good and bad – have long been spaces to understand, explore, educate, and tell stories about mental health and mental illness. Historically, these kinds of media portrayals have focused on mental illness more so than mental wellness AND have often been negative, exaggerated, and inaccurate. For example, portraying individuals with mental illness as violent and dangerous, despite the fact that individuals with mental illness are more likely to be a victim of violence than those without a mental illness.
Mental health stigma is a real barrier to seeking mental health information, treatment, and care. As consumers of video games, we need to be aware of these tropes and how they can impact our perceptions about mental health.