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Media reporting on mental illness, violence and crime needs to change

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The media is a key source of information about mental illness for the public, and research shows media coverage can influence public attitudes and perceptions of mental ill-health.

But when it comes to complex mental illnesses such as psychosis and schizophrenia, media coverage tends to emphasise negative aspects, often choosing to focus on portrayals of violence, unpredictability and danger to others.

These portrayals can give an exaggerated impression of the actual rate at which violent incidents occur. In reality, such incidents are rare and are often better accounted for by other factors.

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Caroline is celebrating 30 years of SANE

Caroline is celebrating 30 years of SANE

Caroline Storm began supporting SANE Australia almost 20 years ago after the tragic loss of her daughter, Ann, to mental illness.

'It was really the care and compassion of Barbara that sparked my relationship with SANE. She was a wonderful comfort to me during such a dark period,' says Caroline.

'To this day, it means so much to me to be able to support a cause that works so hard to make a meaningful difference to the lives of people affected by complex mental illness.'

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Breaking down the stigma, the final barrier

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Sandy Jeffs remembers her diagnosis of schizophrenia in 1976 as "an absolute death sentence".

"I thought, 'Where do I go from here?' It seemed there was no future, no hope. You were on the scrapheap."

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Four things people get wrong about schizophrenia

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When someone says schizophrenia what do you think?

Sadly, many people have little or no idea about what it's actually like living with schizophrenia. Instead their preconceptions about this illness come from movies and the media which, more often than not, can be inaccurate and sensationalised.

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Explaining the voices in my head

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I think I should feel fortunate when it comes to hearing voices. While I have the ever-curdling mixture of psychosis in the background of my thoughts, the voices I hear are still my own. 

It is still my own internal dialogue. It's just that most of the time, it's not there to help me.

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What is trichotillomania?

What is trichotillomania?

Most people can relate to the frustration of having a ‘bad hair day’. This anxious feeling can be enough to make you want to pull your hair out! Yet unfortunately for some, the urge to pull out their own hair is a very real battle they face every day.

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What is the National Stigma Report Card?

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We are delighted to announce the launch of findings from the National Stigma Report Card, the most comprehensive research of its kind in Australia. 

As you may be aware, SANE Australia’s Anne Deveson Research Centre, in partnership with the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences and with the support of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, invited people living with complex mental health issues to participate in the Our Turn to Speak survey.

Our Turn to Speak was the first survey of its kind in Australia that sought to comprehensively understand the experiences of people living with complex mental health issues, and how they are affected by stigma and discrimination.

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Top picks: Exploring schizophrenia

Top picks: Exploring schizophrenia

For Schziophrenia Awareness Week we've put together a list of resources that explore issues relating to schizophrenia.

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Living with BPD: the facts

Living with BPD: the facts

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a widely misunderstood and stigmatised illness.

According to Stephanie who has lived with BPD for almost ten years, some people do not understand or even accept that it is an illness. The symptoms of distress associated with BPD can often be dismissed as attention-seeking which creates further stigma.

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What’s the difference between bipolar I and II?

What’s the difference between bipolar I and II?

On first impression bipolar disorder is easy to understand. It’s a disorder where a person experiences extreme mood changes, highs and lows, with periods of normality in between.

But, when we look further into the disorder, or we hear people talk about their experiences, it starts to get a little more complex, and the terms bipolar I and bipolar II emerge.

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