| ..."with content often acting as a bridge
for teens to explore their own mental health. |
A survey commissioned by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has revealed the three biggest mental health concerns for teens are anxiety, stress and depression, with 64% of 13-18-year-olds saying they want appropriate
warnings on all films and TV shows featuring this content.
The research, by YouGov, showed that anxiety (50%), stress (38%) and depression (34%) were the issues that most concerned young people, followed by body image issues
(30%), suicide (20%) and self-harm (20%).
Nearly seven in 10 teens (68%) say that seeing positive portrayals of mental health conditions on-screen breaks down stigma, and half (48%) said that seeing these depictions helps them
understand issues around mental health.
It's clear that seeing mental health issues on screen can act as a bridge to open up discussions, with three quarters (75%) saying that positive portrayals can act as a springboard to get
help. In fact, teens said that a scene in a film or TV show has even prompted them to talk to their friends (41%) or parents (39%) about mental health.
64%)of teens say they think content warnings are important, with young people
going on to say that they help them protect their own mental health (40%), make informed decisions about what to watch (51%) and protect their younger siblings (23%) and friends (38%).
78% 13-18-year-olds think the media industry
has an important role to play in showing mental health issues responsibly.
David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, said:
Films and TV shows have a very important role to play, with content
often acting as a bridge for teens to explore their own mental health. That's why the BBFC's role is more important than ever. We're here to give teens what they tell us they want, and need - easy to understand age ratings and content warnings, that are
based on extensive research into the feelings and reactions of UK audiences, and reflect what people really think - so they can navigate their own experiences, and start talking about them with their friends and younger siblings.
It's very clear that concerns around what harms young people have moved on significantly. In 2021, teens are concerned about mental health, and how this can impact young people emotionally. For teens' emotional wellbeing and development, clear content warnings need to be displayed on all films and TV shows, whether that's in the cinema, on Blu-ray and DVD or on streaming services. We are calling on all streaming services to follow in Netflix's footsteps and carry trusted, well-known BBFC ratings and ratings info on 100% of content.
Further research by the BBFC showed that 97% of people say they benefit from age ratings being in place. 91% of people - and 95% of teenagers - want consistent age ratings that they recognise from the cinema and DVD
to apply to content accessed through streaming services.
Well the BBFC have clearly failed on the consistent age ratings front, film ratings are being frequently changed from the previous submission of the same film and BBFC ratings originating
from Netflix seem almost random.
Offsite Comment: Keep trigger warnings out of the cinema
23rd September 2021. See article from spiked-online.com by
Forget sex and violence, film censors now want to protect us from mental distress.