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Mental health representations in the Media Paul Scates Dr Andrew Mayers.

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Presentation on theme: "Mental health representations in the Media Paul Scates Dr Andrew Mayers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mental health representations in the Media Paul Scates Dr Andrew Mayers

2 2 Mental health in the Media  Who are we  Paul Scates  Dorset Mental Health Forum  Time to Change  Lived experience of bipolar disorder  Dr Andy Mayers  Senior lecturer in psychology BU  Specialising in mental health  What are we doing here today?  Looking at how the ‘Media’ represents mental health

3 3 Mental health in the Media  Types of media  Newspapers – printed or online  TV, film and radio  Social media (Twitter, Facebook…)  Corporate PR and media image  Internet blogs  How is mental health represented in UK?  How do other countries compare?  What can WE do to improve mental health in the media?

4 4 Your perceptions of mental health in the Media  Take a moment to write down some words or phrases that you associate with mental health  We will now look at some examples of MH reporting…

5 5 Front page news, published

6 6 The Sun article  What messages are conveyed by headlines like these?  What perception will readers have about mental illness?  Has the Editor read mental health reporting guidelines?  What was wrong with this article?  So, how did other newspapers respond?  Are they better at reporting mental health?

7 7 In response to The Sun…

8 8 Daily Telegraph response  Some good use of figures, countering The Sun’s claims  “Far from saving lives, the Sun's campaign could put more in danger”  Was this a better example of positive reporting?  Maybe, but it was a little light on detail  Even so, can we put more faith in the Daily Telegraph?  Do they set a better model?  This is what they printed just a few days beforehand…

9 9 Daily Telegraph, a few days earlier

10 10 Response elsewhere  This is what The Guardian said later that day

11 11 The Guardian’s response  More in-depth analysis  Quotes from several sources  Graphical displays  Quotes from Time to Change  And, finished with these key points:  “How would you want to see us reporting on mental health?”  “What do you think the data says?”  “If you are worried about a mental health issue, contact the Samaritans on or your GP”

12 12 Here’s what Time to Change said

13 13 What about corporate responsibility?  Should major companies be more empathic about mental illness? Why?  The recent Halloween costumes at Asda and Tesco are prime examples

14 14 Public perception  Does this reinforce a stigmatised image or is it just harmless fun?  How did the UK public react?  Twitter is a good example of how social media reflects trends  Hundred’s of people tweeted their reaction  Indeed, many sources suggest that it was the Twitter storm that put pressure on Asda to withdraw and donate £25k to Mind  Many people (with lived experience) posted their own images  ‘My mental health costume…’

15 15 Real mental health costume

16 16 Public perception, USA  But how was similar adverts perceived in USA?  One example tweeted by Mental Health Association in Portland, Oregan  Asked whether there had been a media storm in response  They said it had not  When asked why, this is what they said…

17 17 Public perception, USA  What about examples of mainstream US reporting…

18 18 USA mainstream newspaper  Good article. A little short, but well-written and fair  But how did the US public respond…

19 19 Public perception, USA

20 20 Your perceptions of mental health in the Media  How would you report a mental health issue if asked by an editor?

21 21 Time to change guidelines  Here are the Time to Change guidelines to the Media…  service/help-journalists service/help-journalists

22 22 Too much of a good thing?  But all we seem to see these days is famous people talking about mental health  Does this detract from the message and just make it trendy?  The Daily Mail thought so…

23 23 Television and celebrities  Do TV programmes with celebrities talking about mental health help?  Examples…  BBC3 series (Don’t call me crazy)  Had great links to MH information   Frank Bruno, featuring Paul Scates   But did programme portray Frank fairly?  Channel 4 – Four goes mad  World’s Maddest Interview  Ruby Wax  Jon Richardson: A Little Bit OCD

24 24 Summary and conclusion  Is the British media in a good place on mental health?  What else do we do need to?  Questions?

25 25 Summary and conclusion  Contacts  Paul Scates     Andy Mayers   


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