[Reblog] RADIO: OLD DOG, NEW TRICKS?
June 11, 2012 · by kmarone83 · in Mass Media
The British Medical Journal recently highlighted award winning healthcare communication campaign efforts and I was intrigued that a radio program made the list of “imaginative and effective” communication methods. This effort consisted of 12 phone-in radio programs with 22 clinicians to talk in-depth about different mental health issues. It was specifically broadcasted to a rural and socially isolated area. The main purpose: to reduce stigma surrounding mental health.
So, we have story telling narratives by our friends and neighbors in a rural and socially isolated region, broadcast for any and all to hear. Is this innovative? Any Frasier fan would likely say no. But with this particular audience, (and not the bustling and heavily populated Seattle) I immediately thought of social norms. (Without getting too theory heavy, think descriptive norms- what you believe is typical or normal and subjective norms- what your friends/family think.) So, these fine British clinicians worked to reduce stigma by demonstrating that mental health issues not only exist, but they exist in your community. Listen up Cornwall as your friends and neighbors talk about their mental health troubles!
Know Your Audience | Now, this could have been a fictional program with actors portraying mental health issues, moving this into an edu-tainment area, or perhaps a standard PSA, which is so often distributed via radio. But what stood out to me was that this audience was not going to pay attention to a social media campaign or a TV commercial. They might, however, pay attention to local folks telling their story, their experience with mental health on the radio. Storytelling can be powerful and when balanced with the clinical expertise or evidence, has the potential to make an impact. Yes, radio is an old medium. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find new ways to use it.
I make no claims to be an expert in mental health stigma, but while looking into this issue, I came across a few interesting links.
- July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (prweb.com)
- I’m Going To Stop Saying “Stigma” (prideinmadness.wordpress.com)
- You: July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month – Houston Chronicle (chron.com)
- It’s Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week–how aware are you? (boston.com)
- Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Canada (blogs.psychcentral.com)
- MPs’ courage will help challenge the stigma of mental health problems (guardian.co.uk)
- Combatting Mental Illness Stigma in Society (psychcentral.com)
- #NoShameDay and the Fight to Eradicate Mental Illness Stigma in the Black Community (colorlines.com)