Mental Illness in the Media

Mental Illness in the Media. The fact that the media shapes public opinion cannot be gainsaid. There are situation when the role of the media in influencing public opinion has been positive but there are several cases where the contribution of the media to the public opinion is negative. This is more the case with people suffering from mental health issues (Lichtenstein Creative Media, 2009). The media has a significant share of blame in flaming the public opinion to think that people with mental health issues have a high propensity to commit violence. Mental Illness in the Media.

Sometimes the media has done this without an outright intention of painting a negative picture but the word used in reporting mental illness often carries a negative connotation (Loue & Sajatovic, 2008).

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The media will be an important partner in deconstructing the negative image that it has created regarding mental illness. Increased awareness and factual information will be the basis for public opinion transformation regarding mental illness (Ramsay, 2002). Recognizing mentally ill persons as individuals requiring special attention and protection will be the basis on which the entrenched negative information will be fought (Lichtenstein Creative Media, 2009). But this goal will only be achieved if the mental health expert collaborates with media personalities to launch a mass education program. Mental Illness in the Media.


Lichtenstein Creative Media. (2009). Mental Illness and the Media. New York: Wiley

Loue, S. & Sajatovic, M. (2008). Determinants of Minority Mental Health and Wellness. London: Sage

Ramsay, R. (2002). Changing Minds: Our Lives and Mental Illness. New Jersey: Routledge