Amelia Nashe is a Glasgow based screenwriter who’s part of BBC Writers Room Scottish Voices 2020. Much of her work is focused on spreading awareness and destigmatizing mental illness issues – a rarely discussed and often misconstrued topic in our wider society.
Out of 4598 movie characters, only 1.7% were portrayed to experience a mental health condition, and out of 1220 TV characters, only 7% were portrayed to experience mental health issues, Yet 25% of people in England and 18.6% of Americans experience mental health problems every year.
Why do you think it is so important for us to talk about topics like these in medias such as film and television?
I think because they are how we gain empathy, really, of people who are having different experiences to us. I think that is in a way the main function of storytelling.
Taking it right back, evolutionary-wise, we are social people and we have to be to survive, and one of the things that help us remain so is having understanding and empathy for different experiences. Understanding everyone’s different place in the world and how different people will be affected in different ways.
TV & film are both excellent ways of doing so, especially because they are so visual as well. And I think we are mostly a very visual society. Many of these things can’t be said easily as well; a lot of it is about what is not said, what is difficult to say. So those mediums of storytelling are very effective.AMELIA NASHE, #5 | MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS IN TV
You can listen to the full episode now on all major podcast platforms. We get into how Amelia got into screenwriting, what makes television so special and different to cinema, how lockdown has affected our mental health and productivity, the horrible trope of the sexy sad girl, advice for young screenwriters, and much more!
Check out Amelia’s blog here, follow her on Instagram (@AmeliaNashe), and watch her short film The Flame: