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Media (TV, film, newspapers, and radio) and social media play an important role in shaping mental health, by communicating about social norms, mental health difficulties, and promoting risk and protective factors. Social media is a platform where users can connect and communicate with others.


Media Risk/Pro

Risk and/or Protective Factor

Stigmatising representations of people with mental illnesses in media can be a barrier to seeking care (1). Advertising can also promote behaviours which are risk factors for mental health difficulties (2).

Social media has been linked to positive mental health (3) but also poorer mental health (3,4).



1.        Wahl OF. Media madness:  Public images of mental illness. Media madness:  Public images of mental illness. Piscataway,  NJ,  US: Rutgers University Press; 1995. xiv, 220–xiv, 220.

2.        Holkar M, Lees C. A SAFER BET? 2020 Jul.

3.        Bekalu MA, McCloud RF, Viswanath K. Association of Social Media Use With Social Well-Being, Positive Mental Health, and Self-Rated Health: Disentangling Routine Use From Emotional Connection to Use. Heal Educ Behav [Internet]. 2019 Dec 1 [cited 2021 Jan 20];46(2_suppl):69–80. Available from:

4.        Cao H, Qian Q, Weng T, Yuan C, Sun Y, Wang H, et al. Screen time, physical activity and mental health among urban adolescents in China. Prev Med (Baltim) [Internet]. 2011;53(4):316–20. Available from:


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