New movie ‘Joker’ starting conversations on violence, mental illness

SALT LAKE CITY — The new movie "Joker" is making headlines across the nation. Many movie theaters have added extra security for opening weekend.

Skylar Trujillo said he thinks it's getting over-hyped and that it's just a good movie.

“Don’t take this movie to heart — this is a comic book villain," he said.

FOX 13's Rich Bonaduce said it is certainly getting people talking.

"I think people are more concerned that it is going to glorify violence because it's about the Joker. It's about this comic book character that everybody likes," he said.

Bonaduce thinks the film is actually a call to action for mental health and enjoyed the film, giving it an A- rating.

FOX 13 sat down with Julie Rael, the Chief Clinical Officer at Valley Behavioral Health to see how this film is creating conversations about mental health.

“I think it is creating conversations around how trauma can impact somebody's well being," she said.

While Rael said it is good to get the conversation started, she is concerned about linking violence to mental illness.

“There is a statistic: 3-6 percent of people with mental illness commit crimes or are violent. People with mental illness are more likely to be harmed or harm themselves," she said.

There is a stigma around mental illness, Rael said, but having conversations is beneficial and educating people.

“I think it is good to see the warning signs if somebody is being bullied, if somebody has a history of trauma, how it can impact their well being, " she said.

Rael said if you need help, reach out to someone. She said for people not to worry how to pay for treatment there are so many programs out there and they will help you find a way to get the help you need. You can reach Valley Behavioral Health at 888-949-4864 or visit valleycares.com.

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