Day: August 1, 2018

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: Prevalence of Adult Mental Illness by Race

  • Well, we finally made it to end of National Minority Mental Health Month. I hope this month will still inspire the continuation of mental health awareness among minority groups and know that mental illness is not weakness. Just as an arm is broken or an ankle is sprained, we need to bring healing to our mental and emotional being. For those of us who work hard for ourselves and especially our families, we need this so we can better carry out our tasks, responsibilities and most importantly, our dreams.
  • Crazy Jane

    Crazy Jane

    If you watched OITNB, you may have noticed that Flaca played by Jackie Cruz and her best friend, Maritza played Diane Guerrero were not together in its latest season. Gasp! Although we see how Flaca made a new friend in Black Cindy and the budding friendship seemed to have worked well for season 6. Speaking of which I don’t know why she’s called “Black Cindy”. Since like the past 6 seasons, I’ve never seen another Cindy. Oh well…

    I’m gonna miss these two!

    The reason for Ms. Guerrero’s absence as you may have probably heard already is she’s cast to play “Crazy Jane” in the newly DC Universe steaming service tv show (what a mouthful), “Doom Patrol”.

    Originally a character from “Vertigo” comics (DC’s sister comic book company), Crazy Jane is the dominant personality of Kay Challis and is one of her 64 personalities who each have a superpower of their own. Huh…that’s like having the personalities/powers of Batman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Superman, even Wonder Woman all wrapped in one person.. How would a person be able to manage that?

    Kay’s other 64 personalities

    When Kay was 5 years old, she was molested by her own father while putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Unable to deal with the trauma, “Miranda” was born. Unfortunately Miranda is raped at church thus triggering the first incident. After this incident, the Miranda personality ceased to exist while Kay developed a massive personality fragmentation and the other 64 personality were born.

    In addition to the Miranda personality, you “meet” the main personality Jane who has no superpowers. Then there is (just to name a few):

    •Black Annis (the one in the picture) who is an “aggressive misandris, equipped with sharp claws, red eyes and blue skin

    •Sun Daddy, “a gigantic figure with a sun for a head with the power to throw powerballs”

    •The Death Eater. “She believes she must suffer for her sins. Janes brings her out as a defense when tortured.”

    All these personalities help the members of “Doom Patrol”.

    Diane Guerrero herself has been open with seeking mental health treatment, so it would be interesting for her to play this character. In fact, it would be interesting how as a show it would talk about mental illness and sexual assault. “Talking” about such topics is different in a comic book than in a show. However that being DC Universe has its own streaming service, it could be possible. I mean we’ve already seen what streaming services like Netflix and Amazon have done for shows, movies, & documentaries that otherwise may have never reached tv airwaves and the silver screen.

    My question is now…will the portrayal of Crazy Jane hurt or help the mental health community? Will it encourage the stigma or end it? Will the character be able to portray those who lives with mental illness and have survived sexual assault? We all know how Hollywood has portrayed mental illness in the past and as for sexual assault, I hope there isn’t a rape scene. Please God no. It was hard enough once have watched a rape scene in the first season of “13 Reason”, then apparently I heard there are now two rape scenes in the latest season.

    The director of “13 Reasons”, Brian Yorkey, did his research on rape cases mentioned he thought the scene was appropriate so people can better depict its graphic nature. So??? Couldn’t he just talk to sexual assault survivors??? What because he did research on sexual assault cases he thinks that it’s okay to show it considering there are young teen watching??? Besides, the show is not the first to discuss rape (see Law and Order: SVU) and therefore if most of the shows and movies have done that in the past, so can “13 Reasons”. Myself included, talking about sexual assault to family and friends was not easy, so what about faux scene on a tv show??? I really hate it when entertainment now days (hell…social media) is done for “shock value”. Is it really worth losing standards over??? By the way, the best places to understand what sexual assault is by looking up anti-sexual assault websites like RAIN or 1 in 6. Rape is a hard thing in itself to understand for and for some show (or network) to just trivialize it is insulting to me.

    When I am to afford DC Universe, I will give the show a chance. I mean “Titans” is already facing major backlash (I’ll still watch it)—that and a Black woman is playing Starfire. I really DON’T see the problem in that ESPECIALLY since there are NOT a lot Black heroines in the DC Universe. The only one I can CLEARLY name is Vixen. So people should take a chill pill. Sheesh. The comic book industry is slowly starting (damn shame though) to appeal to a diverse group of viewers and readers. Last year we had the first heroine with a LEAD role and we had this year, a Black Superhero with a LEAD role. Now next year, we have a Latina heroine who lives with mental illness. Hopefully through her character (I like how this story came up on the last day of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month), it will show that ANY person of color is capable of living with mental illness and that even with it, you can still do great things. So DC please, don’t disappoint me.

    “Doom Patrol” is slated to show on DC Universe next year.

    References/Resources:

    Crazy Jane (Wikipedia)

    DC Universe’s Doom Patrol casts OITNB alum as Crazy Jane

    Diane Guerrero OITNB Talks Mental Health Book

    13 Reasons Why Creator Defends Controversial Rape Scene: “Talking About It Is So Much Better Than Silence”