It is important to remember that there is no universal ‘look’ or physical appearance for people who experience mental ill-health. Images used to communicate about mental illness should reflect general society, particularly in a diverse Australian context, as well as a variety of experiences.
Many of the images used in the media or in other public communication focus on visible distress or stereotypes about what it’s like to experience a mental illness. This can include images of people clutching their heads or screaming, people curled up in the foetal position, or people looking dirty or dishevelled. This may reflect some people’s experience but this isn’t true for everyone. The Images matter: Mindframe guidelines for image use suggest that these images should be used sparingly, and be balanced with images of hope and support.