Media Coverage of the Mental Health of Men and Boys

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Media, Mental health, Men and boys mental health, Men and boys of color

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Media portrayal of persons with mental health disorders (MHDs) can affect treatment seeking and overall recovery, but few studies focus specifically on the media coverage of MHDs among men and boys. This study examined the extent to which men and boy’s mental health issues are discussed in the media, demographics of males covered most, and the tone/nature of coverage. Articles for three distinct six-month periods covering 2015–2018 were gathered using the “all news” search function in LexisNexis, a media monitoring platform. Although male mental health issues received frequent coverage, males of color, males from the LGBTQ community, and boys (under age 18) are covered to a lesser extent. Coverage of the first group is often associated with negative elements. This research improves our understanding of the frequency, dialogue, and message frames surrounding the media coverage of male mental health issues. The media have the potential to be a strong ally in public health initiatives to promote greater understanding of men’s mental health issues. Our findings help inform media strengths and improvement opportunities in mental health coverage.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, v. 19, p. 1274-1283