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1.

An interesting article about the media and it's contribution to stigmas around mental health: http://pb.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/24/8/281

Here's a quote from it:

The scale of the problem

Television, radio and newspapers play an essential role in the public perception of mental illness. While the media often perpetuate unhelpful stereotypes of mental illness (Byrne, 1997), if properly harnessed, they may also be used to challenge prejudice, inform and initiate debate and so help to combat the stigma experienced by people with mental illness and their carers. The media project of the College's `Changing Minds' campaign recently gathered delegates from the College, the British press and television industry, in order to identify ways to achieve these goals.1


2.

Article relating consumer culture and depression:

Consumerism no cure for depression: Prince CharlesEdit

The Prince of Wales has delivered an impassioned plea against Western civilisation's burgeoning consumerism, warning that it is leading to an increasing dislocation between humanity and nature.

In a considered and clearly personal speech to the Foreign Press Association of London last night, Prince Charles questioned if what is called "progress" is not the cause of both the credit crunch and what he called the "climate crunch".

He said his consistent public criticism of the tenets of scientific modernist rationalism had attracted "some high calibre invective" against him.

However he remained both "undeterred" and increasingly keen to expend his energy in identifying and bringing attention to issues where its effects have "manifested more virulently".

Speaking at the Park Lane Hotel at the annual Foreign Press Association media awards, Prince Charles said he believed that living in an age in which technological ease had become an accustomed and easy part of life had also contributed to a loss of natural connection with nature and its patterns.

This, he argued, has led to a loosening of what he described as man's inner moorings, shifting a natural orientation outward onto "something extraneous to us".

And he asked if the increasing dependence on technology had begun to make human beings also believe - like the modernists - that they and the world are merely part of "some enormous mechanical process".

"It was a question from a newspaper correspondent back in the 1930s that drew from Mahatma Ghandi one of his pithiest responses. During a visit to Britain, he was asked what he thought of Western civilisation, to which he replied: "It would be a very good idea."

"Ghandi realised that humanity has a natural tendency to consume and that if there are no limits on that tendency we can become obsessed simply with satisfying our desires. The desire grows ever more potent as we consume even more, even though we achieve very little of the satisfaction we desire. Is this not so in the Western world today?"

Prince Charles said that, despite enormous levels of consumption in developed nations, more and more people admitted to feeling dissatisfied and depressed and neurological and sociological research is showing similar results.

He said a report by a Children's Society in Britain had recently revealed that the desire by children to have the newest toys and clothing had resulted in high rates of depression and this was particularly so for those from poorer backgrounds.

"One of the downsides of consumerism, it seems to me, is that it forces us to compromise on issues that should not be compromised. I'm sure there are many people who know that it is wrong to plunder the Earth's treasures as recklessly as we do, but the comprehensive world view which we now inhabit persuades us that such destruction is justified because of the freedom it brings us, not to say the profits," he said.

"In other words, our tendency to consume is legitimised by a view of the world that puts humanity at the centre of things, operating with an absolute right over nature. And that makes it a very dangerous world view indeed."

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