Portrayal of mental illness in the media, TV and newspapers

These blogs are written by people with personal experience of mental illness. They review and reflect on some of the ways mental health has been portrayed in the media, including TV episodes and newspaper articles.

The way mental illness is portrayed and reported in the media is incredibly powerful in educating and influencing the public. Our Media Advisory Service works with journalists, script writers and other media professionals to help ensure fictional and factual portrayals of people with mental health problems in the media are accurate and sensitive.

By writing about their own experiences and their reactions to these portrayals, these bloggers raise awareness of the different attitudes they have encountered to their mental health and how the media can help shape these attitudes. Pledge to help end mental health stigma today >>


How I changed how I think and act about mental health

During the teenage years of my life my limited understanding of mental illness was always expressed as ‘They’re mad!’ – that was it! In its entirety! Anything else known as a mental illness was, to me, just some person faking sick to get a day or week off work.

Watching Channel 4's 'Life on the Psych Ward'

Mind's Senior Media Advisor Jenni Regan blogs on why Channel 4's 'Life on the Psych Ward did nothing to help challenge negative stereotypes of mental illness. 

I watched the Channel 4 documentary ‘Life on the Psych Ward’ with excitement last night. I am a huge fan of what both the South London and Maudsley NHS and Channel 4 are doing to ‘lift the lid’ on mental health and was really interested in the idea that they were tackling the less appetising side of mental health: the forensic ward.

If only people did not believe the mental health stereotypes in the media

I spent most of my childhood and teenage years hiding my mental health, partly because it was never spoken about. I didn’t know what mental health was and the little I did know was based on what I had seen on television. I grew up believing that a person had to be thin to have an eating disorder and that a mental health hospital was all strait-jackets and restraints, but my beliefs were wrong.

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