This article explores factual television coverage of mental health by British public service broadcasters (PSB) from the post-war period, examining continuity and change by highlighting the range of voices given airtime, the variety of programme formats and stylistic presentation. It argues that British television has had a long commitment to educating the public about mental health, periodically examining mental health policies, and providing air-time for a range of perspectives. In addition, mental health conditions are now featured more widely, however newer factual genres emphasise experiential accounts and selfaccountability over critical investigation. By situating televisual representations of mental health within a historical framework of UK broadcasting and mental health policy, it contributes to the history of health and television, demonstrating the ways in which policy, broadcasting practices and cultural constructions of mental health are interrelated.

Media and cultural studies, psychology, mental health, public service broadcasting, British factual television, mental health policy, representations of mental health
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
VIEW Journal
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 9, No 18 (2020); 126 - 140

Selby, Hannah. (2020). Continuity and Change in British Public Service Television’s Engagement with Mental Health. VIEW Journal, 9(18), 126–140. doi:10.18146/view.226