Depictions of Mental Health Topics in Malayalam Cinema


This article reviews and analyses the depictions of suicide, grief, stigma, mentally ill persons, and psychiatric treatments in Malayalam movies. While the portrayals of suicide, grief and stigma have been sensitively handled, some depictions of mentally ill and the methods used to treat them have been stereotypic, negative, prejudiced and inaccurate. Accurate portrayals can help patients and caregivers in understanding the processes involved in psychiatric treatment, and thus help reduce stigma and resistance to treatment. Malayalam cinema can serve as a rich resource to teach undergraduate and postgraduate medical students and paramedical professionals of the state about mental illness and related issues, and needs to be harnessed adequately for this purpose.


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