There are many films; both past and current, that add to the stigmatisation of mental illness.
Around this time of year especially, films such as the ‘Halloween’ series, ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ and ‘The Shining’ are shown, in which people with mental ill health are portrayed as violent and dangerous.
In ‘Halloween’ for example, the main character, Michael Myers, is shown escaping from a psychiatric hospital and rampaging through town, murdering innocent teenagers.
Although not directly stated, it is inferred that he is suffering from Schizophrenia.
People who have this condition; a serious and debilitating mental illness, are often incorrectly portrayed as having violent behaviour or a ‘split personality’, such as in the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ films.
This is incorrect as in reality, people with Schizophrenia, are more like to experience violence toward themselves, from others who are uninformed about the condition.
These films therefore, can only increase peoples fear and ignorance, thus stigmatising and isolating further, those people in our society, who would benefit more from our support and understanding.