Joker – Just another Superhero Film?
A few of the staff here at Vortex are big Superhero film fans, so on the release of the new film Joker, there was plenty excitement in the office. If you haven’t been to see it, you must! So what has a film got to do with the world of training? Well, although the film is set in Gotham City, and the central titular character, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is Batman’s archnemesis the Joker, the film is actually a story about a man with mental illness spiralling out of control.
Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, a man struggling with a variety of mental illnesses that keeps him from finding acceptance in a city that is slowly slipping into chaos itself. One of these illnesses causes Fleck to uncontrollably laugh at inappropriate times, leading him to carry an informational card that explains the condition to people who may be near him during an episode. While the movie never names what specific illnesses Fleck has been diagnosed with, these fits of controllable laughter are based on an actual disorder called the Pseudobulbar Affect, or PBA.
Ultimately, the film depicts how an everyday person’s life can downwardly spiral until he becomes a criminal. The fact the central character is a comic book supervillain, is incidental. The film is very reminiscent of the film Falling Down, starring Michael Douglass.
Mental Health seems to be on everyone’s lips these days. Austerity, work pressure, bereavement, and social disadvantage, have all been cited as causes of stress and mental ill health. The statistics are terrifying:
- At any given time, 1 in 6 working-age adults have symptoms associated with mental ill health.
- Mental illness is the largest single source of burden of disease in the UK. Mental illnesses are more common, long-lasting and impactful than other health conditions.
- Mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs £34.9 billion each year. Different studies will estimate the cost of mental ill health in different ways. Other reputable research estimates this cost to be as high as £74–£99 billion.
- The total cost of mental ill health in England is estimated at £105 billion per year.
- People with a long-term mental health condition lose their jobs every year at around double the rate of those without a mental health condition. This equates to 300,000 people – the equivalent of the population of Newcastle or Belfast.
- 75% of mental illness (excluding dementia) starts before age 18.
- Men aged 40-49 have the highest suicide rates in Great Britain.
- 70-75% of people with diagnosable mental illness receive no treatment at all.
Source: Mental Health First Aid England
In the world of work, employers share a legal duty to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees. This now includes the mental health of those employees. How can they do this?
How can Vortex help?
Vortex offers a range of training solutions ranging from short online CPD awareness courses, to face to face mental health at work training, a substantial online regulated Level 2 certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems course, and even mental health train the trainer courses. If you would like more information about these courses, call us on 01914324401, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.