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Mental Health
Back to the Basics

Depiction Suggestions:

One in four people have some form of mental health challenge. That also means one in four of your characters could potentially as well. That doesn’t mean that if you have 12 regular characters on your show that 3 of them should have a mental illness. It does however mean that at least one of them might and we’ve just never known it because they have always managed it well. Perhaps the other characters are aware; perhaps they aren’t. Either way, there is plenty of opportunity here to creatively explore or address these issues with or without your regular characters having major meltdowns.

  • Consider providing your character with opportunities to defy stereotypes that others in the story put him or her in. By having your character excel in the workplace, live independently, or deal with conflict in nonviolent ways, you will help to dispel misconceptions about mental illness in real life and further enrich your character.

  • When possible, use nuanced language to separate the diagnosed mental illness from the individual. For example, find ways to show that a character is living with bipolar disorder, rather than using language like “he’s bipolar;” or say “has been diagnosed with schizophrenia” rather than “she’s a schizophrenic.”

  • Contrary to some misconceptions, one can live a gratifying life despite mental health challenges; it all depends on how successfully the disorder is managed. In fact, research shows that depicting someone with a mental illness who succeeds in various areas of his or her life is the most effective way to reduce stigma and discrimination.


2013 Prism logo_cropped

PRISM Awards Call for Entries

Deadline extended to January 14th!  Submit your production that you believe portrays an accurate depiction of prevention, treatment and recovery from drug, alcohol or tobacco use and mental health in movies, television, DVDs, music and comic book entertainment. 

Click here for more information on submitting.


For more mental health resources visit our TEAM Up website!

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A message from EIC President, CEO, & Co-Founder Brian Dyak  

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Welcome to EIC’s 2014 Spotlight On series on Mental Health, Wellness, and Recovery! This is the first of our monthly newsletter series that will introduce you to new and innovative ways to consider depicting topics related to mental health in your characters and storylines. These suggestions are written with the goal of encouraging more honest, authentic, and de-stigmatizing portrayals of mental health and mental illness. 

As you may have noticed this year’s Spotlight Ons will feature new sections to assist you in getting your creative juices flowing to incorporate mental health into your characters and storylines.  Each newsletter this year will feature content from EICtv Network with engaging video segments on health and wellness topics.  The newsletters will also feature a thought box to encourage “out-of-the-box” thinking when considering each topic.  And of course you can rely on EIC to provide depiction suggestions, “did you know?”, and other interesting facts to assist you in your storytelling.

We look forward to another year of providing you with the resources you need to tell accurate, compelling, and engaging stories.
Richard Dreyfuss, Homeland, and Generation Next, all on the latest edition of EICtv News

richard dreyfuss

In the latest edition of EICtv news, the newscast showcases comments from Richard Dreyfuss, the Oscar-winning actor who opens up about his lifelong challenges with mental illness.  The episode also explores how the hit TV show “Homeland” is raising awareness about bipolar disorder through accurate portrayals. As well as explaining how to get involved with Generation Next, a film, TV and journalism competition on mental health, and much more!  Don’t miss out on your chance to catch up on all the latest news when media and mental health collide!

Tune in by clicking HERE!


Thought Box

Can a T-shirt Change the Conversation About Mental Illness?

"It's just a shirt and not medication, so it doesn't solve the problems that ADHD presents for me, but it acts as a casual reminder of 'you can do this.'"

For more information, contact EIC's First Draft
 at 818-861-7782

In remembrance, Melissa Havard 

This issue of Spotlight On is dedicated to Melissa Havard, a colleague and long-time supporter of EIC and its role as a resource to the entertainment industry creative community on portrayal of health and social issues. Our dear friend succumbed to leukemia after a lengthy battle. Melissa, as both a member of our team and in her work with other organizations, spoke our industry’s language and was a valued contributor to lending accuracy to productions. She will be sorely missed.

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EIC's FREE Technical Assistance Resource 
to the Creative Community!

To set up your own FREE First Draft Consultation with one of our experts contact Larry Deutchman: 
or 818-861-7782

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