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Jakarta Post

Elections and mental health: Words matter

  • Adhitya S. Ramadianto


Depok   /   Sat, June 29, 2019   /  10:34 am
Elections and mental health: Words matter Two men wear masks of presidential candidates Joko Widodo (left) and Prabowo Subianto as residents in Joho, Surakarta, Central Java, hold an event to foster harmony in the wake of this year's elections in this file photo. (Antara/Maulana Surya )

The election results have been announced, and the political constellation has once again shifted. Some achieved their goals, yet others must accept that victory remains elusive. Nevertheless, some of the language used to talk about the election can reinforce the stigma about mental health issues. This election has involved extreme polarization between the two competing camps. Different opinions are expected in any election, but these days, substantive debate has lost ground to increasingly toxic personal attacks. Candidates and supporters expressing different views are framed as having something wrong in their heads. Smear campaigns questioning candidates’ mental health were used to disuade voters. Also, let us not forget the vitriol people showed after the court affirmed that people with mental disorders retained their right to vote, which was falsely claimed as a way to ...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.