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Depicting Mental Health
Reducing Misconceptions

 PRISM Hector and WHM
Hector Elizondo & William H. Macy at
16th Annual PRISM Awards
It is important for professionals in our industry to pay attention to issues like mental health because we are a delivery system for information and people listen to us. That responsibility is something we should embrace. By becoming informed we can be a megaphone to highlight these conditions.
- Hector Elizondo, Actor
on the depiction of mental illness
by the entertainment industry
Perceptions of mental health and mental illness are often clouded by generalizations and stereotypes, leading to misrepresentation of what it means to be living with these conditions. The entertainment industry has a unique opportunity to affect beliefs and alter the opinions of the audience when it comes to mental illness.  

By accurately portraying these individuals and their stories the entertainment industry plays a large role in helping to dispel false impressions concerning mental illness. These stories can also encourage conversations and ultimately increase the likelihood that someone will seek help when needed.

Consider these suggestions when creating your characters and story lines that deal with mental illness:
  • Negative depictions of people with mental illnesses perpetuate feelings of fear, mistrust and shame. Consider, instead, portraying characters who are empowered by their decision to seek diagnosis and treatment.
  • Think about ways to show how misconceptions concerning mental illness can lead to feelings of isolation and a decreased likelihood that the individual will seek out help.
  • Consider having your character break out of the stereotypes that others in the story put him/her in. By having your character excel in the workplace, live independently, or deal with conflict in non-violent ways you will help to dispel misconceptions about mental illness in real life.
EIC encourages you to utilize our First Draft program  for access to additional information
and experts on this topic by contacting Ashley at
Learn more about incorporating Mental Health into your
story lines at EIC's next Creative Briefing:

Mental Health Key
Mental Health for Storytellers

August 16, 2012
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Universal Studios Hollywood
Click Here to View the Full Invitation

Featured Panelists

Dr. Charles Sophy
Dr. Charles Sophy,
Psychiatrist & Medical Director for Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services
Stephanie Welch
  Stephanie Welch, 

Mental health advocate who faced serious mental health challenges as a youth and young adult
Lisa Becker
      Lisa Becker      
Her encounters with the justice system during psychotic episodes caused by bipolar disorder now help law enforcement better deal with people with mental illness.

Click here to RSVP!

If you or someone you know is battling depression or thoughts of suicide call

To speak with a counselor today!

For Veterans Press 1


First Draft

EIC's FREE resource to the creative community offering access to experts on this and many other topics.

To set up your own FREE First Draft Consultation Contact: Ashley at or call

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2012 S.E.T. Awards

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S.E.T. Awards Call for Entries!

 Tune in!
The 16th Annual PRISM
Awards Showcase
September 16, 2012 on FX
and other networks.

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