Anna Ross PhD Completion Seminar
Mitigating the impact of the news media on stigmatising attitudes towards people with severe mental illness
Presenter: Anna Ross
2.00pm Wednesday 2 June 2021
Stigma towards people with severe mental illness adversely impacts life satisfaction, self-esteem, help-seeking, treatment adherence, and overall recovery. The media is known to be a key source of information about mental illness. News portrayals linking severe mental illness to violence are overrepresented, and influence public beliefs about dangerousness and unpredictability.
The overall aim of this PhD is to reduce stigma and discrimination towards people with severe mental illness through improving news reporting of people with mental illness in the context of violence and crime. This aim has been addressed through four studies. This involved exploring the impact of stigmatising content in news reports about people with severe mental illness, and collaboratively developing guidelines for best practice media reporting of mental illness, violence and crime. A brief training intervention based on the guidelines was developed and piloted to evaluate its effects on journalistic behaviours, reporting intentions, knowledge of best practice, and stigmatising attitudes.