On November 17 the first conference on Media and Mental Health was held at La Nau (Universidad de Valencia). The participants were professionals in journalism, the health sector and academia, whose combination turned out to be a very enriching multidisciplinary meeting. The program covered different perspectives in order to give voice to the different actors involved and researchers who are part, in one way or another, of the object being addressed.
The main theme of the conference was how the media addresses mental health. The Janssen laboratories, represented by Ramón Frexes, provided a more practical view of the drugs related to these diseases. Also, Begoña Román, doctor in Philosophy at the University of Barcelona, explained the social context in which it is developed, deepening in the ethical aspect of the topic.
In the round table “Threats and strengths of mental health and the media”, the different associations sensitised with the theme highlighted examples in which the media tend to stereotype or highlight mental health illnesses. Journalists and academics from the same area of knowledge also expressed their point of view. In this way, they had the opportunity to discuss and deal in a joint way with the problem of a bad management of the information by the press concerning the affected group.
The conference was organised by the Federation of Mental Health of the Valencian Community and the Valencian Association of Rehabilitation and Insertion of People with Mental Illness (AVRISEM). The event was sponsored by the Janssen laboratories and endorsed by the University of Valencia and the ScienceFlows research group, represented by the IP of the ESTENAS project, the Journalism professor, Carolina Moreno.
The hashtag used by speakers and attendees to comment on the conference was #comunicasm.