Comprehensive review of Interpretations and role of Media in elucidating the issue of Mental illness to public

Suryasom Chatterjee, Annie Khanam Singh


Mental illness comprises a broad range of problems, with different symptoms. They are generally characterized by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behavior and relationships with others (Balsa & McGuire, 2003). The lives of people with mental health conditions are often plagued by stigma and discrimination. There are significant consequences of the public misperceptions and fears about mentally ill. Many studies have found that media and the entertainment industry play a key role in shaping public opinions about mental health and illness.  People with mental health conditions are often depicted as dangerous, violent and unpredictable. Such prejudices are a result of opinion formation that is largely due to influence of media (Baun K. , 2009).

The present review focuses on the factors that depict influence of media on attitude formation of public and society. The review further examines the level of awareness for mental illness among public and role of media in creating that awareness and also further assess the scope of media intervention in the field of mental illness (Cutcliffe & Hannigan, 2001). The objectives of the review was to understand the role of media in creating awareness regarding mental illness among public; to understand the availability and portrayal of information regarding mental illness in electronic media and print media; and to understand the potential scope of media intervention for mental illness in India (Koshy, 2015).


Mental illness; Mental Health;Media; National Mental Health Programme (NMHP)

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