The mass media is an important source of public information on mental health issues. A two-page insert in 11 local Ayrshire newspapers was purchased to coincide with the Mental Health Weeks in 1994 and 1995. Using a quota sampling technique, 379 adults were questioned on their views and recollection of the insert in 1994, and a further 365 in 1995. It had been seen by 27% of 1994 respondents, and by 22% in 1995. Of these, 80% in each sample had read at least part. Local details were best remembered, and information on the nature of mental illness was regarded as the most helpful part of the insert. The newspaper articles provided a way of contacting a substantial proportion of the adult population of the area.
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