Trigger warnings are applied to scenarios where the topic can cause distress to a person. Originally the use of trigger warnings was for PTSD patients in an attempt to allow for the person to decide whether they wish to interact with the possibly distressing material or avoid it all together, but now days trigger warnings are applied to all forms of media. Recently researchers have debated the effectiveness of trigger warnings in mass media as well as debating if they can be a hinderance to the user with prolonged use. Here we report people’s feelings towards the current media rating system and if integrating trigger warnings would be beneficial to the viewers, while looking at past literature review studies to determine the effectiveness. In order to determine the public’s opinion on we send out a survey to 118 participants and the results indicated that a person would wish to have additional content warnings since it consciously gives them the choice to decide if they will watch it or not. While our study gave some insight into the use of trigger warnings there are still much to learn as to how it can affect a person unconsciously and in the long run.

Full Poster: Mental Health and the Media