If you need to represent mental illness in one of your projects, two charities are giving you photos to use instead of the stigmatising ‘headclutcher’.

The way mental illness is being presented in the media has been under scrutiny again after the stigmatising way that the actions of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz were blamed on depression on the front pages of British tablets. However, alongside this appalling treatment of the condition is a drip-feed of simplistic representations of mental illness – both in the choice of language and imagery.

Often mental illness is represented by what Get The Picture – a campaign by mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness – calls the ‘headclutcher’: a photo of a person slumped with their head in their hands, often with their face hidden. The charities surveyed 1,980 people and found that 58% thought it was stigmatising, and 80% thought it didn’t accurately represent what having mental illness was like.

Image: A young woman suffering from depression

Next Page »