The power of the media to shape perceptions of mental illness
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The power of the media to shape perceptions of mental illness

James Mullins Hospital director, Sturdee Community Rehabilitation Hospital, Inmind Healthcare Group, Leicester

James Mullins is impressed that powerful portrayals of psychiatric disorders, which foster a positive reaction in society, are now more prevalent

Headlines in the press that include words such as ‘psycho’, ‘bonkers’ or ‘madman’ have been used to provide a sensationalist hook, symbolising the fears that some sectors of society have about the experiences of people with mental health issues. However, this article suggests that progress has been made. Broadcast media, in particular, have attempted to educate viewers with a series of outstanding films and television programmes that support the notion that such individuals, when portrayed positively, can be regarded with empathy rather than fear.

Mental Health Practice. 17, 8, 34-35. doi: 10.7748/mhp2014.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 30 October 2012

Accepted: 11 November 2012

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