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How Film & TV Attempts Stigma Free Mental Health

Mental Health. What does it mean to you?

Sometimes the media portrays mental health unlaced with stigma and then there's one time too many when you'll find stigma all up and through it. Seeing projects that attempt to address mental health concerns are important because conversations grow from such works. In shows such as Being Mary Jane, Queen Sugar, Insecure, This Is Us and How To Get Away With Murder Black women are able to say "I'm Not Ok" and it isn't met with criticism or silencing tactics. The women in these shows are not harassed by an unsympathetic family member that insist on prayer as a solution. They aren't called crazy. People don't invalidate their mental health issues by weaponizing their external success to why the character should be happy. The Black women on these shows are free to have a normal experience with mental health issues that isn't sensationalized.

Therapy is normalized.

Vulnerability is normalized.

Losing the fight is addressed.

Unpacking trauma is explored.

Mental health isn't the same for everyone. Compassion, support and patience offered to individuals struggling with their mental health should be the same though. As a black woman, it feels good to see that on the shows listed above that the characters in them were able to receive healthy reactions from the people around them and be free of stigmatization. These shows set the bar on how to appropriately show Black women with mental health struggles. The rest of tv, film, web series and ect can strive to achieve the same standard.

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