Portrayal of mental illness and special hospitals in the UK press.

Geoff Dickens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The portrayal of mental illness in the media can be negative and stigmatizing. Mental health nurses, therefore, need to be aware of the ways in which the media frame mental illness issues, and should be prepared to challenge inaccuracy. This article examines the changing nature of the UK press's reporting of mental health issues by focusing on two areas. First, the changing terminology the press uses in their attempt to appear more sensitive, exemplified by recent growth in use of the term 'suicide watch'. Secondly, the article examines the press' reporting of the three English high-security special hospitals as an example of how the framing and personalization of stories is used to set the public agenda on mentally disordered offenders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1058-1061
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


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