On May 9, 2006, a Senate Committee report entitled "Out of the Shadows at Last" was published, highlighting the crisis in the mental health system in Canada. It stressed the critical need to develop the mental health system and to change public attitudes towards mental illness. Using agenda setting and framing theories, the current study explores whether the depiction of mental illness and homelessness changed in Canadian National newspaper coverage since the release of this report. Relevant articles from a 2003-2009 were coded using a categorical codesheet. The results show a significant and lasting increase in the agenda setting potential of Canadian National newspaper coverage regarding mental illness and homelessness since the release of the report. The evidence suggests that the report appears to have played a catalytic role in increasing the overall frequency of reporting on a number of prominent themes concerning mental illness and homelessness.
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Thesis advisor: Somers, Julian
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