Key question for clinical psychology; “how are mental health issues portrayed in the media?”

Time to Change
way mental illness is portrayed and reported in the media is incredibly powerful in educating and influencing the public.
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Signorielli
72% of characters with mental illness depicted in prime-time television were violent.
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Thematic analysis of mental illness on TV
danger/aggression, unpredictability, incompetence and childlike- common themes; overall portrayal of MI- ‘outstandingly negative’
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Mass media
primary source of information for most people about mental health disorders, yet contains misinformation and inaccurate use of terminology- presents negative biased view on MHD.
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Diefenbach
analysed content of prime-time TV in USA for 2 weeks- 32% had at least 1 character with MI- 10x more violent than general population, 50% violent offences committed by someone with MHD
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Levers
content analysis of how MI portrayed in Hollywood films after 50 years-MI- passive, pathetic or comical, mostly dangerous- requiring restraints/invasive procedures- depict stereotypical views of MI, not reality with today’s society
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Individuals with MHD
more likely to be victims of violence not perpetrator
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Media depictions still affect public attitudes towards MI;
a third of public still believes someone with MI- prone to violence
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Tartakovsky-APA
review of media depiction of MI- media portrays depression as a chemical imbalance- perpetuating - NT are a sig. factor associated with depression and can be cured by a wonder drug
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Penn et al;
Providing medical cause for disorder e.g. schizophrenia reduces blame associated with disorder though doesn’t change the prejudices linked to schizo e.g. unpredictability and danger
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Brown and Bradley
25% of people with mental health issue don’t seek treatment due to the worry that they’ll be labelled
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Rosenhan’s study
normal behaviour interpreted as abnormal- symptomatic as a disorder
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What's unhelpful for recovery of individuals with MHD
Alienation of people with MHD because people see them as a threat- so rob them of positive reinforcement of social interaction
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Media exposure important
so mental health issues can help to deter the attitudes and stereotypes, removing the stigma that they’re a threat
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Steven Fry
bi polar supports Time to Change- to update attitudes of mental health- using social learning theory- high profile models and their experiences- supports other people with MHD, changing public opinion
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Time to Change-how to improve situation?
Time to Change- raise awareness and attempt to normalise MHD e.g. publicising the ‘one in four’ • and offered guidance in TV programmes portraying MI as sensitive and accurate portrayal takes place
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‘one in four’
one in four people will experience mental health issue at some point in their life
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Attitudes to Mental Health (2013)-
• public attitudes to mental health- significant decrease in intolerance over last few years
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It's frightening to think of people with mental problems living in residential neighbourhoods (1994)
15% agree
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It's frightening to think of people with mental problems living in residential neighbourhoods (2011)
12% agree
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Mental illness is an illness like any other (1994)
71% agreed
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Mental illness is an illness like any other (2011)
77% agreed
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Card 2

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Signorielli

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72% of characters with mental illness depicted in prime-time television were violent.

Card 3

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Thematic analysis of mental illness on TV

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Card 4

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Mass media

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Card 5

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Diefenbach

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