Mental illness is still marketed. Seeing all the news about Sinead O’Connor video on Facebook about her suffering from mental illnesses and pathetic headlines that stigmatize mental health in order to get some more views.
The Irish singer posted a 12-min video where she talked about her suffering from 3 mental illnesses, that she wanted to commit suicide in the last 2 years, and how she felt isolated after losing custody of her 13-year-old son.
It’s pitiful the way news websites consider talking about mental illness with such a sentimental style using exaggerated language only when it’s a matter of public figure and forget to create features about mental illnesses on a regular time scale. It is really sad and alarming that video of O’Connor which shows how much suffering someone could go through. The use of words with stigmatizing connotations has a large impact on the public debate about mental illness ( harrowing, troubled..).
There’s a lot to reflect about the reporting on mental illness in Online Media, and how some words can hold judgment and direct her case into a debatable subject. Also, how people with ongoing mental illness or thought of attempting suicide will feel when reading such-a-supposedly-piece of news. When reporting mental illness and psychotherapy, media tends to get it wrong fueling stigma rather than giving accurate information about mental health. In addition to the above, WHO urges media outlets to stay away from “sensational coverage of suicides”. Giving that the report published by WHO is related to suicide coverage, it is important to note that in the case of O’Connor speaking up of her thoughts, media reports can also have a strong impact.
Reporting of suicide in an appropriate, accurate and potentially helpful manner by enlightened media can prevent tragic loss of lives by suicide.
__World Health Organisation (2000)
Covering mental illness and trying to erase stigma around it is a way of raising awareness on mental health generally.