In your head

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Peralta, R.M.M. (2016). In Your Head: A study on the uses and gratifications and literacy of selected Metro Manila Twitter users’ tweeting using mental health terms. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

Mental health is a topic laden with misconceptions and stigma, and is of low priority compared to physical health based on reports by Rappler and the World Health Organization. A quick Twitter or Facebook search of the word ‘retarded’ or ‘depressed’ will show status updates with people using these terms lightly or dismissively, or even romanticizing mental illnesses. On the other hand, some people are becoming somewhat aware of the importance of mental health, as can be seen by a number of news articles and posts calling for an end to romanticizing and stigmatizing mental health. This study aimed to understand the discourse on mental health issues based on 500 tweets from Metro Manila-based Twitter users who used key words related to mental health repeatedly in 2015. Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis and the uses and gratifications theory were used to determine the discourse, the literacy level on the issue, as well as the uses and gratifications for tweeting about mental health. While the status quo is still to stigmatize, romanticize, and casually use words related to mental illness, the study showed that media—both traditional and new—can change this discourse and improve the mental health situation in the country. Keywords: mental health awareness, Twitter, social media, critical discourse analysis, uses and gratifications of the 21st century  View Thesis Category:Theses Category: CMC Thesis Category:Department of Broadcast Communication Thesis Category: 2016 thesis