17 shows that positively discuss mental health

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One Day at a Time

From Latinx representation, LGBTQ+ representation, and earnest portrayals of mental health, the One Day at a Time reboot is one of the most critical shows. Honestly, we don’t know what we did to deserve this series, but we’re glad it exists because it notes the stigma around depression, anxiety, and PTSD in Latinx community in a productive and healing manner.

The mom of the household, Penelope Alvarez, is an Army veteran who also has diagnosed depression, PTSD, and anxiety. As early episodes of the series show her dissonance to her diagnosis and her new medications, her character development brings her to a temporary, but not particularly uncommon, journey.

Before openly discussing her conditions and her anxiety medication and antidepressants, Penelope stops taking her medications and going to therapy. Though she works in the medical field herself as a nurse practitioner, she temporarily dismisses her need for treatment. This revertive arc shows how unfortunately powerful stigmatizing mental health conditions can be.

In the episode “Hello Penelope,” One Day at a Time not only shows how Penelope explains her mental health conditions and her treatment to her family, but it also shows how Penelope helps bridge the gap on mental health education within her Latinx family.

Her mom, Lydia, doesn’t get why Penelope needs therapy. As Penelope helps convince herself that it’s completely normal to want to seek help for her depression, anxiety, and PTSD, she also helps breakdown misconceptions about her mental health.