Biocommunicability and the politics of mental health

An analysis of responses to the ABC's "Mental As' media campaign

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For the past 2 years during Mental Health Week in Australia, the ABC has dedicated a week of programming across all of its platforms to mental health issues. The ‘Mental As’ campaign has been widely praised for creating awareness and raising funds for mental health research, while also drawing some strong criticism. This article provides a thematic analysis of a selection of media and public responses to Mental As with particular attention to the following four themes: starting a national conversation; combating stigma; emphasising the political economy of mental health; and resisting restitution narratives. The analysis draws upon the concept of ‘biocommunicability’ to explore the links between people’s responses to the campaign and their uptake or resistance of the subject positions it invited them to adopt. The article seeks to offer some insight into the ways in which media and communication practices can figure in the biopolitics of mental health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-193
Number of pages18
JournalCommunication Research and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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