Media portrayals and reporting of mental illness are incredibly powerful in educating and influencing the public. When done well, the media can be a tremendous tool in raising awareness, challenging attitudes and helping to dispel myths. It can give people with experience of mental health problems a platform and can offer insight for the public into health problems they may have known little about.
However, sensationalist journalism and programme-making can overplay the risk of violence, promote fear and mistrust and widen the gap of understanding about mental health issues.
We want to ensure that both factual and fictional portrayals of people with mental health problems that appear in the media are accurate. At Time to Change we’ve developed a range of guidance and advice for journalists and programme makers to help you get things right.
Our charity partner Mind also runs a helpful Media Advisory Service.