Media and Mental Health

Course Description

Understanding the role of the media on mental health and well-being is more important than ever before. We consume information via social media, the internet, television, film, books, newspapers, and magazines. For these reasons, it is vital to understand the impact of media on your own mental health and the public's well-being at large.

In "Media and Mental Health," you will explore and evaluate how media intersect with mental health. For example, when is media consumption harmful to your health? How can media be utilized to solve public health problems? What does a healthy relationship with media look like? Are the depictions of mental health and psychological treatment in the media accurate? Does how the media portray mental health providers impact the public perception of clinical psychologists or the likelihood to seek help? Can internet self-help groups cause more harm than good? We will also explore the ways psychology and psychological treatment is accurately and inaccurately represented in popular media, develop skills in media literacy, and consider ways that social media marketing can be utilized to promote public health. You will also learn about abnormal psychology and public health by exploring these issues.

This course includes lectures, guest lectures, independent research projects, and small group activities. Films, TV clips, and websites are used to stimulate discussion about the accuracy, ethics, and implications of the media's portrayal of mental health and examine how media intersects with public health issues. Self-reflection is encouraged, and you will walk away from this course with a better understanding of the media's role in your own life.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Understand core issues in abnormal psychology, the diagnosis and treatment of psychological distress, and public health
  • Discuss how media influence mental health and well-being
  • Describe how mental health and psychological treatment are portrayed in the media
  • Critically evaluate the accuracy, ethics, and implications of such portrayals
  • Develop critical thinking and analytic skills required of college courses


No specific prior experience or knowledge is required; however, students should be excited to learn about public health, psychology, and media studies.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: June 20, 2022 - July 01, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: Online - Asynchronous
Status: Closed
Format: Online
Instructor(s): Lindsay Orchowski
Course Number: 10106