By Yalena Aguirre
During recent years, there has been an increase of mental health illnesses through adults and children alike. Anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and many more mental illnesses are becoming an international problem due to many outside factors like poor home life and low self esteem, amongst other things. In the midst of it all, the online network program Netflix has taken action and is spreading mental health awareness of various issues through producing television shows regarding the topic and including characters that have mental health issues.
In the last few years, depression and anxiety have been the most diagnosed mental illness among the young and old alike. The consistent barrage of self doubt flooded through the minds of those who have depression and anxiety can make people feel alone in the world and as if not many people understand them. Netflix has taken note and has made shows such as 13 Reasons Why to demonstrate how one’s actions and words can lead someone to develop depression, which would lead people to go as far as ending their own life. “[13 Reasons Why] was really popular. . .and they portrayed them [the characters] very well, better than most shows do,” commented Junior Madison Bjorstrom on the critically acclaimed show. The show has taken great lengths to provide the most accurate representation of mental illness to teenagers and young adults. Netflix has also produced the show Orange is the New Black, which portrays almost all the inmates of the prison with some form of mental illness to some level of severity, like narcissism, abuse, psychopathy, and more. It heavily implies the importance of receiving help and treatment for these illnesses to get the best quality of life possible, even for inmates. “I think it will [impact people] because it will cause many people to receive help and even understand the mental illness more,” Bjorstrom expressed, “It also allows people around the suffering to look out for signs.” These shows produced by Netflix have taken immense lengths to present the most accurate representation of mental illnesses to inform people and students about the rising epidemic and share the importance of receiving help for the various illnesses.
In the events of the increase of mental health awareness being spread by Netflix, they have taken action in producing more and more shows and films documenting these illnesses. On September 13 of this year, Netflix released an original series called Unbelievable, which tells the story of two female dectectives investigating a slew of eerily similar rape attacks after a young woman was accused of lying about being attacked. The trailer presents the negative toll a traumatic experience has on many young women after experiencing the event on their mental health. Netflix also released an educational series called The Mind, Explained on September 12, which dives deep into the science of the human mind and analyzes many mental illnesses on a scientific level. These shows provide people with more knowledge about mental illnesses and how if affects people’s daily lives. “I think it’s important because people need to see that it is okay and should get help,” Bjorstrom emphasized, “It lets people know that they aren’t alone.” In a time where mental health issues are increasing more and more, Netflix will continue to educate people and students about mental health as “society cannot ignore this rising epidemic. More people are being diagnosed than ever before,” Bjorstrom commented. Netflix has taken action on providing mental health awareness in hopes to educate people about the rising epidemic.
Mental health awareness is very important in this day and age as more and more people are diagnosed everyday with these illnesses. Netflix has taken action in providing people with spreading awareness that will likely help many people and students alike struggling with mental illnesses. By producing more shows addressing mental illnesses in people, it would increase the public’s knowledge about it and how to receive proper help for many people struggling with it.
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