I am Whole Part 2: You’ve been Framed

Mental health cuts… 

Following on from the previous blog, where the I Am Whole mental health campaign was discussed I thought I would post a link to more coverage of the budget cuts that are still affecting mental health care in the UK. The below article, from the BBC,  explains how a pledge has not been kept and has been broken, with more cuts taking place. Follow the link to find out more.

Image alt link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37657954

With this in mind and continual coverage of budgetary cuts, this blog continues to look at the campaign and how the governmental and NHS have dealt with mental health awareness, in the context of the I Am Whole campaign.

You’ve been Framed!

So…while media reports (see appendix 1 for more links) show that the UK government is clearly cutting back on mental health care, there initiatives such as the I Am Whole campaign which are backed by the YMCA, an independent charity, and by the NHS, a government funded organisation.

It is therefore very interesting to look at how this campaign is framed. A definition of framing, given by Entman (1993), is that it is essentially when aspects of of a perceived reality are made more salient in a communication text. This is essentially picking out parts of a text or message that you wish to highlight. In the context of social change, this is often used to inspire others by highlighting one of the following (adapted from Bell, 2013):

1) Diagnostic framing – showing an injustice or victimhood. In this campaign example, the victimhood of adolescents who are growing up with mental health issues.

2) Prognastic framing –  i.e., looking at what is able to be done to create change. In this example, the YMCA and NHS are not trying to find more funding. Instead, they are taking action and finding other ways.


3) Motivational framing – showing that change can be made together and urging people to make the change. In this example, the campaign urgens young people to take part, share photos, spread awareness, share articles and much more. It is very interactive and really motivates those affected to take part.

You’ve been… Counter Framed?

We therefore see coverage in the media purporting a cut to mental health services and an example campaign to motivate and inspire those who are affected to take action. Counter frames are ways of looking at things differently. As follows:

1) The victimhood of young adults is actually due to educational policy changes or cuts. A government or education policy issue rather than victimhood frame.

2) Teachers ought to be taught how to recognise and refer bullying – perhaps time-poor teachers due to cuts or education policy changes are to blame. Government or education policy frame.

3) That the NHS encouraging motivational framing and getting people to take action is a way of cutting back funding whilst looking proactive and also reducing expenditure in the long-term as people will become aware of illnesses far earlier, saving health services money.


There are many different frames that the mental health budget cuts are shown in – from reports in the media through to campaigns that show a different way of tackling the budget cuts, through a motivational and empowering campaign led by the NHS and YMCA.

Find out more about the campaign by viewing the below video:

Appendix 1:

Various news websites with coverage of mental health care cuts:




Bell, K. (2013) Open education sociology dictionary: Free online sociology dictionary. Available at: http://sociologydictionary.org (Accessed: 30 December 2016).

Entman, R. M. (1993), Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm. Journal of Communication, 43: 51–58. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1993.tb01304.x


Further Note

*This blog has been written as part of my Media, Campaigning and Social Change MA (Part time) at the University of Westminster, for more information about this course please view: http://www.westminster.ac.uk/MACampaigning.


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