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Science
ALL IN THE MIND
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PROGRAMME INFO
Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Rpt: Wed 16:30-17:00
Dr Raj Persaud explores the limits and potential of the mind, revealing the latest research and bringing together experts and commentators from the worlds of psychiatry, psychology and mental health.
Contact All in the Mind
BBC Action Line:
0800 044 044
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 11 November
PRESENTER
PROF. RAJ PERSAUD
Raj Persaud
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 11 November  2003
Brain Scan

CHILDREN’S ATTITUDES TO MENTAL ILLNESS

Children as young as 7 have a negative attitude towards mental illness. In All in the Mind, Dr Raj Persaud asks why children are more accepting of physical handicap than mental health problems. Professor Otto Wahl from Hartford University, Connecticut has done extensive research on the impact of the media on the way children learn about mental illness.

The programme also looks atthe role children’s literature has in challenging discrimination, and whether educational programmes which involve people with mental illness going into schools can help change attitudes.

Research in New Zealand found that television predominantly created a negative picture of mental illness, especially cartoons which referred to people with mental illness as crazy, mad, losing your mind. There was also a strong link between violence and mental illness.

Otto Wahl has shown in his research that even though young children have very little knowledge about mental illness itself, such as the symptoms ordifferent types, they still had a negative picture which placed mental illness as much less desirable than any other kind of health problem.

The Royal College of Psychiatry has produced a number of children’s books for primary schools which reflect different mental and social problems including Streaky, the annoying little piglet and Little Raja, the elephant with the troublesome trunk. The books are part of their Changing Minds campaign.

Vanessa Pinfold, project coordinator for the mental health charity, Mental Health Awareness in Action for Rethink and Nicky Singer, author of Feather Boy, and Doll also take part in this feature.


SLIPPERY POLITICIANS

As Michael Howard settles in to his new role as Conservative Party leader the tumultuous events demonstrated that a week is indeed a long time in politics. But Howard himself knows all too well that a simple question can also become an unnervingly long time in politics. The infamous 1997 exchange with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight and others like it have become the subject of scientific study by psychologists who specialise in the conversational art of equivocation.

Entertainment aside it is key conversational exchanges like these which raise key psychological questions about high-status figures like politicians and the motivation that lies behind their preference for ambiguity and evasion. Is there something in their psychological makeup which forces or equips them to be so evasive?

Peter Bull is a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of York and he has studied in minute detail many hundreds of hours of tape of politicians being grilled for his recent book, The Microanalysis of Political Communication: Claptrap or Ambiguity.


BLACK MENTAL HEALTH

Paul Grey has been sharing with us aspects of his personal experiences of the mental health system over the past four weeks. This week he reflects on the important role that work has played in his recovery. Paul is now a plumber running his own business.

But few people who come into contact with him would be aware that he had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for ten years. For the past two years Paul has been well – out of hospital, married, a father and most importantly working - but on leaving hospital it seemed like he had a mountain to climb.

Dr Raj Persaud is joined by the project leader of Employment Improves Your Mental Health, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Wendy Lanham from Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Trust todiscuss the issues.

Additional Information

Dr Otto Wahl is Professor of Psychology at the University of Hartford, Conneticut, USA

Vanessa Pinfold is project co-ordinator for the mental health charity Mental Health Awareness in Action for Rethink

Further information on the Changing Minds campaign is available from The Royal College of Psychiatry

Contact details for Consultant Clinical Psychologist Wendy Lanham from Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Trust, project leader of Employment Improves Your Mental Health, are available from the Action Line on 0800 044 044.

First Step Trust

Footprints UK provide information, support, training and advocacy services to black and minority ethnic communities who are users of mental health services, carers and professionals.

Footprints UK
Alpha Business Centre
Unit 47
60 South Grove
London
E17 7NX

Books

Feather Boy and Doll by Nicky Singer are published by Collins

The Microanalysis of Political Communication: Claptrap or Ambiguity by Peter Bull, is published by Routledge




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