UPDATED: Thu, Jul 09, 10:36PM As public awareness of mental health issues increases and the stigma associated with mental disorders and their treatment recedes, will mental health advocacy in comic books become more widely embraced? As with efforts to better represent women in comics have paid off in terms of new readers, can more accurate portrayals of mental disorders unlock a new demographic? Forensic psychiatrists H. Eric Bender, M.D. and Praveen R. Kambam, M.D. (Broadcast Thought) discuss why accurate mental health depictions matter and how less stigmatizing and more creative representations can benefit both patients and publishers alike. Gail Simone (Batgirl, Red Sonja) will talk about her efforts to accurately represent people with mental disorders and her consultation with clinical psychologist Andrea Letamendi, Ph.D. (Under the Mask,The Arkham Sessions) on the depiction of posttraumatic stress disorder and its treatment in DC Comics' Batgirl. Comedian Jenny Jaffe (Camp Time with Jenny Jaffe, CollegeHumor) will discuss her experience reaching out to teens and young adults through her innovative mental health nonprofit, Project UROK. Psychologist Janina Scarlet, Ph.D. (Superhero Therapy) will share moving stories of patients inspired by accurate comic book depictions of mental disorders in their recovery from mental illnesses. Forensic psychiatrist Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D. (Broadcast Thought) will discuss his short story about a stigmatized superhero with bipolar disorder, Aura, published in RISE: Comics Against Bullying from Northwest Press. Attorney Jeff Trexler (The Beat, The Comics Journal) will moderate, contextualizing the changing landscape of mental health depictions in comics with the complicated history between comic books and mental health.
Saturday July 11, 2015 11:00am - 12:00pm