Representations of mental health problems in the UK press: A focus group study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

It is a well-known fact that sensationalist newspaper reports reinforce existing public stigma against individuals with mental health problems. To better understand the impressions that people with mental health problems have of press representations of mental health problems, and the negative consequences newspaper reporting can have on those affected, two focus groups and five interviews were conducted with 16 participants (aged 24 to 72 years) who were directly or indirectly affected by mental health problems. Recordings were transcribed verbatim, coded and analysed using deductive and inductive coding approaches to thematic analysis. Two main themes were developed: perceived misrepresentations about mental health problems, and perceived consequences of misrepresentations. The results from this focus group study highlight how misrepresentations of mental health problems in the press create and reinforce public stigma and misinformation and inhibit communication about mental health problems and help-seeking behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-25
JournalQualitative Methods in Psychology Bulletin
Volume31
Issue numberSpring 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2021

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