Year: 2000 Source: MJA. Medical Journal of Australia, v.173, no.11-12, (December 4-18, 2000), p.625-628 SIEC No: 20020128

This study systematically examined a sample of 94 books to explore the depiction of mental health issues in contemporary Australian adolescent literature. There was reference to psychiatry in over two-thirds of the works. In most, the image of psychiatry was generally negative or mixed. Of the 10 characters in the sample who completed suicide, eight had a psychiatric disorder. Young people in contemporary Australian adolescent literature are beset with trauma, loss, & psychiatric disorders. Even when help is obtained, the outcome is seldom positive. This nihilistic view may increase hopelessness & pose a barrier for teenagers seeking help. (21 refs.)