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26 January 2020

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The Media’s Portrayal Of Mental Health Hurts

These are the most circulated pics on the internet & SM when you search the term mental HEALTH the last wk.

 

I hear all the time: “as long as it’s spoken abt, it’s a good thing.” Well in today’s media-centric, need it now world, not all talk moves us fwd.

 

Why did these 2 stories go hand-in-hand w the term mental HEALTH? A # of reasons:

 

1) Delonte had been previously diagnosed & shared he suffered w bipolar. He later publicly denied that the diagnosis was the correct one (accurate or not, his name/behavior in these pics, were tied to bipolar).

 

2) Antonio Brown has had a # of run ins w police, most recently related to how he refused to pay a mover & damaged his truck. The headlines after he was released, & mug shots/suicide vest on him were shown: “Court Ordered Mental Health Evaluation.”

 

The truth is that 99.9% of us have NO idea what Delonte, nor AB have been up to the past few months, w: compliance w meds (if they’re taking any), self-medication, addiction, substance abuse, etc.

 

We had a lot of famous ppl rightfully come to their defense, especially Delonte’s – like a Dez Bryant & Jay Williams, as well as alliance members like Imani McGee-Stafford, Chamique Holdsclaw, Lance Allred & others. Carl Banks cried out for someone to help AB when he saw erratic behavior begin. All the above are GOOD things – moving the convo fwd & explaining – these are not actions to laugh or poke fun at. Health is real.

 

The big however is, the way the MEDIA portrays these stories, & those (unlike the above) who are irresponsible on SM, is that they show these images/actions as THE face of mental HEALTH.

 

Now, as we fight to educate folks, when ppl think of bipolar – they’re most recently reminded of the Delonte video. When they think of “MH issues” they think of the AB actions we’ve heard abt.

 

The media/SM enthusiasts go for EYEBALLS.

 

What we saw w Delonte & AB, IF there is something underlying relate to MH, is an extreme. The media doesn’t tell us that. Many million posts don’t tell us that.

 

It’s why it’s so impt to share the stories of everyday life challenges we ALL face. The ho-hum doesn’t sell copies or get “likes” but it does better explain the MH continuum.

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