- Use the genre to reverse misconceptions
- Content in the horror genre can help counter common misconceptions about mental health.
- Consult experts to avoid perpetuating fear
- If your story is set in an inpatient treatment facility or asylum, consult an expert or to ensure you’re depicting the experience accurately and in a way that doesn’t inadvertently perpetuate fear.
- Avoid cliche depictions
- Your advisor can also help you think of ways to minimize depictions of restraints or straitjackets.
- Use storytelling to counter stigma
- If the antagonist in your story has a mental health condition, work with an expert advisor to counter stereotypes and stigma.
Think carefully before using psychiatric wards or asylum settings
- Inpatient psychiatry is often a scary proposition for people who may need and benefit from this type of treatment, and storylines that perpetuate fear around these settings can prevent people from getting the help they need.
- Consider the potential impact before moving forward with a storyline set in an inpatient facility, and if the setting is critical to your story, look for ways to accurately depict the experience.
- If your story requires the depiction of restraints or straitjackets, consult with an expert to portray these in an authentic way.
Avoid implying that people with mental health conditions are villains
- Sometimes films in the horror genre play up a villain’s mental health challenges to justify their behavior or make them seem more frightening or violent.
- In reality, people living with mental health conditions are more likely to be the victims of violent crime than they are to inflict violence on others.
- If the antagonist in your story has a mental health condition, look for ways to minimize stereotypes and stigma.