‘Christians Must Hold Toxic Media Accountable when it comes to mental health’

Macaila writes for Woman Alive on the importance of Christianity, mental health, and the ethics of media.

(Trigger warning: suicide and mental health discussion. If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health or suicidal thoughts, please call Premier Lifeline on 0300 111 0101 for FREE support, open 9am to midnight GMT/BST every day.)

In the now world famous interviewwith Oprah, Meghan opened up about her rapidly decreasing and concerning mental state during her time in the UK/under the institution of the royal family and how that led to suicidal thoughts. Meghan shared that she had begged for mental health support and care to help her work through and overcome these thoughts and the desire that she “didn’t want to be alive anymore.” Both Meghan and Harry said that the UK tabloids had played a role in their exit and the hatred and harassment from the media was not only toxic but began to be “unsurvivable”. After being told seeking help “wouldn’t be good for the institution.” Meghan and Harry decided to step back, exiting their roles as senior members of the royal family.

Piers stated he was “sickened by what he had to watch” and that he “[didn’t] believe a word she said. “I wouldn’t believe a weather report if she read it.” He then went on to berate the mental health survivor by questioning: “who did you go to? What did they say to you?” 

Quite frankly, I feel that information is irrelevant and a blanket over the issue. The issue is not about the unnamed people but that someone was refused mental health support when there were clear communication streams suggesting it was much needed.

It is reported that  nearly two million people watch Good Morning Britain. That is two million people watching a man who refuses to accept a woman’s struggle because of an apparent lack of proof. These conversations communicate to those watching and reading the headlines that their own mental health struggles won’t be believed if and when they choose to share. Piers’ actions were the epitome of “I don’t care” which is exceptionally dangerous and to some, the green light for killing themselves.

Mind, a mental health charity with the mission of ensuring “no one has to face a mental health problem alone” has released a public statement holding GMB accountable and calling out the double standard within the press/ media:

As Christians, we also have a responsibility to use our voice and publicly speak out as Mind did. Our purpose in the world is to reflect the characteristics of our Saviour. Regardless of what we think about Meghan herself and the interview, we must proceed with Jesus’s mentality.

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