October 21, 2018

The Media Needs to Do a Better Job Covering Celebrity Mental Health

Kanye’s visit to the White House has sparked conversations about mental health amongst celebrities. For Vox, Lux Alptraum looks specifically at how the public and media scrutinizes celebrities over mental health issues.

An Overview Currently

  • The media tends to over-simplify complex mental health issues
  • They often focus on violent outbursts or suicide
  • This portrays a false picture of the true mental health landscape
  • The media and public often reduce unconventional decisions to a sign of mental health problems such as Kanye’s Twitter rants or Pete Davidson’s whirlwind romance with Ariana Grande

How can the media combat these issues?

  • Media training: official training on terms such as ‘borderline’ and ‘manic episode’ would reduce the amount they are thrown around
  • Stop armchair diagnoses that use terms like OCD in the wrong context which reinforce stigma
  • Stop treating celebrities as a central part of our news cycle

The correct media treatment of a celebrity with mental health can offer essential health to others suffering the same illness. The large platform of celebrities requires mature and professional work on behalf of the media. But in an ad-driven media cycle, it’s challenging for publishers to move past celebrity culture as a dominant theme in their reporting.

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