The role of media as allies

Although partnerships with the mass media can be more relevant within the policy context, parents and carers’ reflections on the role of the media in the transmission of negative stereotypes of people with mental health problems were strongly portrayed within the findings from Dr Warner-Gale’s study.

It may, therefore, be beneficial for CAMHS partnerships to work with local media organisations in imparting positive information about children’s mental health and help that is available for those with problems. Local media could be supportive in getting information about children’s mental health out into the public domain.




Methods of successfully employing the media as allies

Involving the communications departments of the local delivery and commissioning organisations right from the start of the programme or campaign is a good idea. In this way the positive stories of tackling stigma strategies and actions can be reported in the local press, providing accurate information about mental health issues and raising awareness of the devastating effects of stigma.

Ultimately the aim is for journalists to develop awareness of the harm that negative stereotypes can provide. Training young journalists would also be a key goal, but working with journalists and improving their awareness of mental health problems is also likely to have an impact on their practices.

There may be other ways of targeting media organisations locally, such as speaking to radio stations who may be willing to do interviews or play recordings about mental health issues. Also some cinemas have been able to help by playing excerpts from DVDs during pre-film advertising.



Case study: Social marketing campaign

Northamptonshire is piloting a countywide social marketing campaign initially in two designated schools, with plans to roll this out to other schools in the future to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing. The campaign incorporates the idea of five activities that can promote mental health and wellbeing, similar to the campaign to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

As part of the curriculum this will include a Personal Health and Social Education (PSHE) toolkit as an initial product. The emphasis is driven by young people and their participation from the beginning. They have produced a DVD with young people and have bought filming equipment so that they can continue to develop the project within schools and with professionals.

The project is seen as evolving, organic and embedded within everyday work and organisations. The aim for the project is sustainability and continuation, this is vital for long term success.

Learn more from the Northamptonshire pilot site

Case study: Durham, Darlington and Tees Radio Campaign

The Durham, Darlington and Tees pilot created an intervention to engage children and young people in a local radio campaign which enabled two young people to join other members of the public to tell their stories about their experience of mental health.

Read the full case study in the Durham, Darlington and Tees pilot site section.

Case study: Liverpool – NOISE/Music 2 Inclusion project

This intervention is in the planning stages and involves members of the children and young people’s Board in the production of radio jingles capturing the appropriate language of mental health.

Read the full case study in the Liverpool pilot site section.



  • Adobe Acrobat Document You and the media: tackling media interviews with confidence

    A step-by-step guide to the interview process for those speaking out for the first time, and for anyone preparing for an interview about mental health matters. There is space to make notes to help you feel fully prepared for an interview and get the most out of the experience.

    Publisher: Rethink
    Published Date: 27/09/2006

  • Website School children challenge myths and fears surrounding mental illness through interactive DVD

    A press release about tackling stigma work and its benefits in Northumberland.

    Publisher: NHS North of Tyne
    Published Date: 23/04/2010

  • Adobe Acrobat Document Participation consent form

    We have also produced a template consent form that may be used for ob-taining consent from children, young people and their families to take part in consultation and service developments. Part of this consent relates specifically to being filmed and/or photographed.

    Publisher: NCSS
    Published Date: 07/10/2010



Validates against XHTML 1.0  Cascading Style Sheet compliance  Single A Accessibility compliance