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The representation of mental illness in the media
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Alison Kerry (Head of Media, Mind) explores why what the media says about mental health really matters and how positive coverage and authentic depictions can make a real difference to the lives of people with mental health problems. Looking at some case studies and the ways in which the media have reacted to certain stories surrounding mental health, Alison Kerry charts the progress that has been made in this area, whilst referring to some of Mind's Campaigns.
This lecture was filmed at an event called: 'The art of psychiatry: How patients use creative media in their recovery journey and how the media treat the issue of mental disorder'.
For more information on this event, click here.
Date of lecture: 8th November 2011.
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Learning Outcomes for this Video
Media portrayals of mental health are incredibly powerful in educating and influencing the public. Unfortunately, the media is just as likely to reinforce negative stereotypes as it is to promote positive representations. It can promote fear and mistrust and widen the gap of understanding about mental health. Research has shown that almost a third of national newspaper coverage about mental health focuses on violence and homicides. Derogatory terms such as psycho and lunatic are commonplace in the press but these don’t just cause offence they contribute to public misunderstanding about mental health issues. In soaps characters with mental health problems are often used as a tool for high drama or an easy option to explain violence or bad behaviour. By playing to stereotypes, producers are able to quickly and easily use mental health problems as a motive. It is far easier to reinforce the audience prejudices than to challenge them.
This presentation will explore why what the media says about mental health really matters and how positive coverage and authentic depictions can make a real difference to the lives of people with mental health problems.
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RSM accreditated CPD Module Certificate
This module involved the online viewing of an RSM Lecture and the completion of a questionnaire and/or reflective notes
The RSM Lecture was: The representation of mental illness in the media
This module has been allocated 1 RSM CPD credit