The FrameWorks Institute released a new report today that explores how the public thinks about issues related to mental health. It finds encouraging news: most people strongly believe that mental health should not be stigmatized. Nevertheless, stigma persists because of deep, underlying assumptions that position people with mental health disorders as different, apart, and abnormal. Supported by the Colorado Health Foundation and the Tri-County Health Department of Colorado, this report is based on interviews with experts in mental health and members of the public in Colorado and builds on research into a wide range of issues related to health.
Experts and advocates have a new resource to guide communications about homelessness in the United Kingdom. Finding a Better Frame: How to Create More Effective Messages on Homelessness in the United Kingdom explores how the British public thinks about homelessness and how the issue is framed in advocacy and media materials. The report makes recommendations that advocates can put to immediate use in communicating more effectively about the issue. It was produced in collaboration with Crisis, a leading non-profit organization in the United Kingdom, and adds to related research FrameWorks has conducted in the areas of housing, socioeconomic diversity, and poverty.
Can frames make change? The short answer is ‘Yes.’ FrameWorks CEO Nat Kendall-Taylor and Senior Writer and Editor Allison Stevens elaborate in a new open-access book on child and adolescent mental health. In Chapter 3, Kendall-Taylor and Stevens explore how advocates and experts can use communications science to translate the science of child mental health. The goal is to build public understanding of the science of child mental health, which will, in turn, build public support for policies that can promote it. It is based on research conducted by the FrameWorks Institute on issues including early childhood development, child mental health, and other areas. The book is free and available to the public.
Experts and advocates have a new resource to guide public communications about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). The report—Seeing the Spectrum: Mapping the Gaps between Expert and Public Understandings of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Manitoba—compares expert and public views of FASD in Manitoba, Canada. It also makes recommendations that advocates can put to immediate use to communicate more effectively about the disorder. It was produced in collaboration with Healthy Child Manitoba and with support from the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation, and adds to related research FrameWorks has conducted in the areas of health, substance use, and brain development.
How can advocates use communications to advance social change? FrameWorks’ CEO Nat Kendall-Taylor tackles this and other questions about the science of storytelling in a recent TEDx MidAtlantic talk. “Understanding is frame-dependent,” Kendall-Taylor says. The choices we make when we communicate about an issue—what we say, how we say it, and what we don’t say—influence how people think about and respond to the issue. The way we frame an issue, in other words, can lead the public to dramatically different perceptual and behavioral outcomes. Watch Kendall-Taylor’s talk on framing fundamentals to learn more about how frames drive social change.
A new MessageMemo, sponsored by the DentaQuest Foundation, provides recommendations, including a new metaphor, for advocates to effectively communicate about oral health.
How can scientists advocate for science at a time when it is sometimes perceived as capricious, uncertain, and of little value or relevance to society and social change? And how can they do so in a way that goes beyond traditional efforts to raise awareness and educate the public about science and instead change people’s minds and attitudes about it? Nat Kendall-Taylor, chief executive officer of the FrameWorks Institute, and Pat Levitt, professor of neurogenetics at the University of Southern California, offer answers in a new article in Neuron, an influential journal of neuroscience. In “Beyond Hat in Hand: Science Advocacy is Foundational for Policy Decisions,” Kendall-Taylor and Levitt argue for a two-science approach to science translation, one that integrates the science of communication with the science of brain development. “It is clear that scientists need to cultivate a greater recognition of the value of science and encourage its use in advancing societal benefits,” they write. “The good news is we don’t have to guess how to do this. We can use science.”
The FrameWorks Institute released a comprehensive set of research and resources today that advocates and experts can use to raise the salience of elder abuse, help the public understand it, and build support for solutions to it. Strengthening the Support summarizes and synthesizes FrameWorks research into framing elder abuse and outlines a practical, actionable communications strategy. And Talking Elder Abuse offers evidence-based tools to help the public understand elder abuse, change perceptions of it, and build support for solutions to it. These resources were sponsored by Archstone Foundation, the John A. Hartford Foundation, and Grantmakers in Aging, and were conducted in partnership with the National Center on Elder Abuse at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. They build on earlier research into cultural attitudes and beliefs about elder abuse and were produced alongside a related set of materials about reframing aging.
In our youth-obsessed culture, aging is primarily understood as a personal fate to avoid, not a social issue that demands a public response. How can advocates working to change the conversation on aging navigate public thinking to spark dialogue, shift perceptions, and build support for necessary policy changes? A major new body of framing research offers important guidance for communicating about the issues facing older people, including ageism. Gaining Momentum is a collection of resources to help advocates drive a more productive narrative about how to capture the benefits of an increase in the average lifespan.
FrameWorks Board Chair and CEO issued a statement on the repeal of North Carolina's House Bill 2.
FrameWorks recently released a set of recommendations to help advocates ensure their messaging on restorative school discipline practices gains public understanding. Supported by Open Society Foundations Racial Equality Fund, "Reframing School Discipline: A Strategic Communications Playbook" is a timely update for the field.
The health of our ocean is under threat, yet few outside the scientific community understand why—or what we can do to address it. In a new analysis of how the UK public thinks about marine issues, FrameWorks points to ways to include the ocean in discussions of climate change and build support for stronger marine conservation efforts.
All elections promote and suppress ideas about how the world works—but the 2016 presidential campaign was stunning in its toll on ideas central to the mission of nonprofit organizations. In a new analysis in Nonprofit Quarterly, FrameWorks Institute CEO Nat Kendall-Taylor and founder Susan Nall Bales analyze the election's impact on public thinking and discuss the implications for nonprofit communications. The authors pinpoint the aspects of American culture that have become more dominant—or “easier to think”—due to recent rhetoric as well as those that now more recessive and “harder to think.” Advocates, they add, should "forget slogans" and take time to explain how social problems work and how to solve them.
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and New America released a new report about the need for and benefits of early STEM learning and makes recommendations to support it. It features an article by the FrameWorks Institute that lays out a clear narrative that science and education advocates can use to unite around science-based communications. The report—STEM Starts Early: Grounding Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education in Early Childhood—was released on Feb. 2.
In 2016, FrameWorks worked hard to bring provocative, practical, and proven framing recommendations to advocates and policymakers working to create change. We talked framing at the White House, the World Health Organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. We saw the frames emerging from our research shape media coverage of social issues locally, nationally, and internationally--from the Lethbridge Herald and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to the New York Times. Our widening circle of partners drew on our advice to press for change on adolescent substance use, child adversity, climate change, the criminalization of poverty, human services, oral health equity, and more.
It's been quite a year - and we're ready for 2017, when it will be more important than ever to work in coalition to conscientiously frame social issues.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
PEACEFUL & VERDANT WORLD
When people of varying income levels live in the same communities, send their kids to the same schools, visit the same libraries, and commute to and work at the same places, our whole society benefits. Yet few understand the benefits of socioeconomically mixed neighborhoods, view it as a societal goal, or support policies that promote it. A new MessageMemo released by the FrameWorks Institute aims to change that. It summarizes expert and public views on socioeconomic mixing and shows advocates, experts, and communications professionals how to make a more effective case for it. The recommendations include using the value of Interdependence to talk about mixed-income communities and using both historical and contemporary examples of policies that maintain economic and racial segregation. This work was supported by a grant from the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation.
How do experts understand poverty in the United Kingdom? And how do these views differ from the way the public understands poverty? The FrameWorks Institute answers these questions in a new report released about UK poverty. It explores that gaps between expert and public understandings of poverty and makes recommendations that anti-poverty advocates can use to bridge them. The goal of the project, supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is to provide advocates and experts with the tools they need to build public support for policies and programs that can support people in need and reduce UK poverty.
In partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, the FrameWorks Institute analyzed current advocacy themes in light of the public’s dominant beliefs and attitudes about housing. “You Don’t Have to Live Here:” Why Housing Messages Are Backfiring and 10 Things We Can Do About It teases out the implications of advocacy messaging on public thinking.