Media Portrayal of Mental Illness and its Treatments

  title={Media Portrayal of Mental Illness and its Treatments},
  author={Heather Stuart},
  journal={CNS Drugs},
  • H. Stuart
  • Published 2006
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • CNS Drugs
This article reviews dominant media portrayals of mental illness, the mentally ill and mental health interventions, and examines what social, emotional and treatment-related effects these may have. Studies consistently show that both entertainment and news media provide overwhelmingly dramatic and distorted images of mental illness that emphasise dangerousness, criminality and unpredictability. They also model negative reactions to the mentally ill, including fear, rejection, derision and… 

Mental Illness Stigma in the Media

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Findings suggest that students had moderate stigmatizing attitudes, with varying degrees of stigma present depending on the social context.

Stigma, Schizophrenia and the Media: Exploring Changes in the Reporting of Schizophrenia in Major U.S. Newspapers

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Swedish Mental Health Nurses’ Experiences of Portrayals of Mental Illness in Public Media

It is found that mental health nurses experience media portrayals of mental illness as negative and misleading with too much emphasis on the medical perspective while a holistic mental health nursing perspective is heavily obscured.

Media Depictions and the Priming of Mental Illness Stigma

Research has consistently noted that news reports on mental illness are biased toward describing violent incidents, and there is evidence that the media is a significant source contributing to the

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ABSTRACT Popular film contains an abundance of information pertaining to identity and stigma attributions popularly linked with those experiencing mental health concerns. However, this domain remains

Service-Learning with the Mentally Ill: Softening the Stigma.

Stigmas toward those who have mental illnesses are wide-spread and detrimental to the health and wellbeing of those suffering from these debilitating conditions, and to society as a whole.

Perceived Media Influence, Mental Illness, and Responses to News Coverage of a Mass Shooting

This study examined the perceived influence of news coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings on self and others’ attitudes about mental illness, and behavioral outcomes (including willingness to seek



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How psychiatric disorders are portrayed in children's media is explored to suggest that negative stereotypes are being fostered and that children are learning to respond to people with mental illnesses in avoidant and disparaging ways.

Television Viewing Habits and Their Relationship to Tolerance toward People with Mental Illness.

The electronic media has been criticized by mental health advocates as contributing to the stigma of mental illness. In this study, college-aged individuals who received their information about

Mental Illness and the Media: An Assessment of Attitudes and Communication

The results of the questionnaire survey show that media reporters are no less accepting of mental illness than the other groups, and recommendations for both reporters and psychiatrists groups were collated, aiming at improving communication and ensuring a more positive emphasis and greater accuracy of media coverage of mental health issues.

Images of mental illness in the media: identifying gaps in the research.

The review reveals a lack of recent research on the U.S. media and a need for precision in how mental illness and the media are defined for study and a link between exposure to media images and mental illness stigma.

Constructing Mental Illness as Dangerous: A Pilot Study

The findings suggest that mental health professionals working to reduce the stigma of mental illness need to have a reasonably sophisticated understanding of the practices and priorities of television production if they are to collaborate effectively with producers to create dramas that convey more human and sympathetic understandings ofmental illness.

Mass media, 'monsters' and mental health clients: the need for increased lobbying.

There is a clear need for psychiatric/mental health nurses to become more mindful of the wider, socio-political environment in which their practice occurs, particularly if psycho-social approaches to practice are adopted in their fullest sense, and as a result increase their political lobby.

Portrayal of Mental Illness in Canadian Newspapers *

  • D. M. DayS. Page
  • Medicine, Psychology
    Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie
  • 1986
Content analysis of 103 newspaper reports taken from eight major Canadian newspapers indicated that the newspapers portrayed mental illness and the mentally ill in a manner which could be described as essentially pejorative, thus seeming to support frequent observations and complaints from the mental health establishment about inadequate or unfair coverage of mental illness in the popular print media.

Contesting the text: Canadian media depictions of the conflation of mental illness and criminality

Researchers have identified that portrayals of mentally ill people as violent and criminal are among the most common depictions of mental illness in the popular media (Nunnally 1961, Wahl and Roth

Portrayal of Depression and Other Mental Illnesses in Australian Nonfiction Media.

Australian media portrayal of mental illnesses, focusing on depression, was described, with scope for increasing the level of accurate information provided about depression in the Australian media.

Media Depictions of Mental Illness: An Analysis of the Use of Dangerousness

  • R. AllenR. Nairn
  • Education
    The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry
  • 1997
It is concluded that media practices directed at engaging readers require the use of cases and a style of writing that forces readers to draw upon commonsense knowledge of mental illness to understand the text.