Our ideas about mental health and illness can be informed by personal experiences but are most often formed by the prevailing attitudes of society. A wide range of contemporary media help create these attitudes and for all health professionals the ways in which they do so are of immediate concern. Health professionals need to:
- be aware of media influences on their own perceptions and attitudes
- take account of both the negative and positive aspects of media intervention in mental health promotion and public education
- understand the way in which we all interact with media messages and how this affects both practitioners and service users
"Mental Health Issues and the Media" provides students and professionals in nursing and allied professions, in psychiatry, psychology and related disciplines, with a theoretically grounded introduction to the ways in which our attitudes are shaped by the media. Covering the press, literature, film, television and the Internet, it also includes practical advice and recommendations on how to combat negative images for service users, healthcare workers and media personnel.
This paperback brings to mind some of the very best Open University textbooks, particularly those linked to their "popular culture" modules in the 1980's and 1990's. Stephen Weeks, CPN South West Yorkshire NHS Trust
It is contemporary in the objects of its gaze, if not in outlook, and should be recommended reading for students and trainees who may need assistance in seeing the wood for the tree's.
Peter Bryne University College London