Media, Minorities, and the Stigma of Mental Illness

  • Sandra S. Swantek

Media is everywhere. Television, cable, radio, internet, newspapers, magazines, film—all vie daily for your attention. If you are like the majority of Americans, your primary source of information about mental illness is from the media (Tu & Cohen, 2008). This information is often inaccurate and perpetuates harmful misconceptions about people with mental illness (Corrigan, 1998; Wahl, 1992). The mainstream media’s coverage of persons of color is frequently biased and misinformed (Biagi & Kern-Foxworth, 1997). The minority person with mental illness faces the challenge of succeeding in an unwelcoming culture, while also carrying a diagnosis that marks him or her as different even within the minority community. That mark is stigma (Goffman, 1963). Many researchers agree that it is one of the most debilitating handicaps faced by persons with mental illness (Corrigan, 2005; Hinshaw 2005, 2006, 2007; Otey & Fenton, 2004; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999, 2001). Stigma...


Mental Health Mental Illness Mental Illness Stigma Prime Time Television Minority Person 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northwestern University, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern Memorial Hospital, Stone Institute of PsychiatryChicago

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