Recent analysis of popular TV programmes for teenagers has revealed that mental health issues are regularly portrayed in a negative light, possibly discouraging people from seeking help.
The research from Bupa looked at over 30 hours of television across 52 episodes. It was found that negative or inappropriate mental health descriptors were used on average twice per episode.
Nearly half of these mentions dismissed, mocked, or made light of mental health or mental illness.
When spoken with as part of the survey, parents confirmed that their teens regularly misuse terms most frequently misused on TV, including the terms “crazy”, “mental”, and “mad”.
One-in-five (16%) of parents said they suspect their child may be hiding mental health symptoms out of fear of embarrassment.
This adds to the concern that people in their teens may form a negative perception of mental health due to its portrayal in popular culture.
This phenomenon isn’t just confined to teenagers, however.
People at work can be put off discussing mental health and being able to get the help they need.
The stigma surrounding mental ill health still exists, and the attitude and skill of managers is at the forefront of whether this occurs in a workplace or not.
With 1 in 4 people experiencing mental ill health each year, that’s a lot of people who may unnecessarily keep quiet.
It is possible to make the change, however.
Organisations can choose to break the stigma.
Introducing a workplace wellbeing strategy is a long-term way of doing this, by introducing policies, schemes and management techniques to make mental health just as important as physical health.
After all, an employee wouldn’t keep a broken arm secret out of embarrassment, so why should they do so with a mental health issue?
The first step is awareness and learning how to deal with mental health in the workplace.
This is what can be achieved through the Mental Health First Aid training course.
Find out more about the benefits of our MHFA training course.