Film for Thought: The Power of Positive Portrayal of Mental Health in Cinema – News18
In India, attitudes towards mental health and mental wellbeing have been gradually evolving with increased awareness and conversations towards reducing the stigma. In its 3rd year on Mental Health Day, ITC’s Feel Good with Fiama Mental Wellbeing Survey unveils interesting facts to further understand young India’s changing attitudes towards mental wellbeing and mental health. Commissioned with NielsenIQ, the survey covers a gamut of beliefs, behaviours, major stressors and de-stressors for GenZ and Millennials towards mental health.
Cinema, like in many other parts of the world, plays a significant role in raising awareness about cultural influences and behaviours. The Feel Good with Fiama Mental wellbeing Survey, 2023 reveals that Gen Z and Millennials believe that better portrayal of mental health in cinema will influence perceptions and drive conversations. Mental wellbeing in recent years has gained some prominence in broadcast content and the survey highlights the need to explore more positive portrayal. 82% of the survey respondents feel that TV/OTT can be instrumental in influencing perceptions about mental health. 77% believe that TV/Movies and OTT content can drive mental health conversations. While proactive dialogue on mental wellbeing and handling everyday stress is witnessing a positive shift, there is a need to illustrate it better in pop culture references. 78% Indians feel ‘dramatic’ representation of mental health can deter people from seeking treatment and 79% believe positive mental health portrayals in movies can aid in addressing stigma. 81% also feel that celebrities create strong impact as mental health advocates.
Be it GenZ or Millennials, everybody is battling stress, albeit due to varying causes. The survey findings highlight the various stressors and de-stressors at Work, in Relationships and the overall attitudes towards mental health and wellbeing.
Key highlights of the survey
Work & Career Decisions
Work pressure and career related decisions top the chart in factors that cause stress and impact mental wellbeing for young India. Gen Z surpasses millennials by 18% in career anxiety.
9 out of 10 Indians stressed at workplace, would appreciate better work life balance policies. 62% respondents feel stressed about resuming physical work. More than 57% Gen Z attribute career decisions related worries to mental health issues
42% Indian men seek immediate professional help and 35% opt for online counselling.
53% of the respondents from Bangalore believe that issues with mental wellbeing impact relationships at work as well.
The Feel Good with Fiama Mental Health Survey 2023 reveals that 38% Indian women attribute toxic relationships amongst the top reasons that impact mental health and 64% Indians believe societal standards cause burnouts.
82% Indians believe that their parents would be supportive in case they were to seek therapy. This also reflects parents are regarded as confidantes if one had to undergo therapy. However, only 29% Indians consider siblings as confidantes in their mental health journey; partners fare only marginally better at 31%.
61% Indians feel helpless at their inability to assist loved ones with mental health issues.
Health & Wellness in India
Majority of Indians miss mental health signs with Delhi topping the chart at 85%.
72% Indians know someone affected by mental health issues and also associate poor mental health with depression.
The survey further reveals that 86% of Mumbaikars opt for therapy as last resort.
In a positive step forward, the survey also reveals that 84% believe mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed of.
54% Indians state Mental Health is as important for overall well-being. 58% combat stress through yoga, meditation and exercise.
In an interesting take, 67% Indian GenZ and 63% Millennials believe that their generation is redefining FOMO to Fun of Missing Out!
Despite the varied causes of stress and increasing anxiety, 51% Indians who believe social media has a positive impact turn to online counselling as a treatment option. Young adults are exploring alternatives to de-stress – Music is the preferred choice for 86% Indians to cope with stress and negativity.
Speaking about the survey, Sameer Satpathy, Divisional Chief Executive, Personal Care Products Business, ITC Limited, says, “It is heartening to note some of the positive shifts that have taken place in understanding mental health with the gradual increase in awareness campaigns and discussions. The Fiama Mental Wellbeing Survey continues to provide the spotlight on India’s youth and their attitude towards mental health and well-being. In its 3rd edition, the survey unveils some critical facts that can definitely be a catalyst for more widespread conversations, a more nuanced understanding of the issue as well as enhance mental health support. Fiama’s endeavour to make mental wellbeing a more proactive conversation goes beyond just provoking a thought. In collaboration with MINDS Foundation, it also enables access to subsidized virtual therapy.”
The brand in collaboration with The Minds Foundation, has also launched its first Virtual Clinic. The Virtual Clinic is designed to enable affordable access to mental health therapy delivered by licensed professionals. It is an appropriate platform that encourages individuals to seek help in an intimate virtual space without the fear of embarrassment or the prevailing stigma. The MINDS Foundation has specially put together a team of highly qualified therapists for the Virtual Clinic, thereby, offering expert advice, therapy and counselling at the convenience of one’s own privacy.