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To review research on depictions of mental illness in mass media directed to children and to identify requirements for further research in this important field.The authors identified published research on depictions of mental illness in children's media and the important strengths and weaknesses of such research.Only four relevant studies and one collection of reviews of children's books were found. Three of the studies focused on depictions of mental illness in film, and one study focused on depictions of mental illness in television. While some depictions evoked sympathy, others were frightening and denigrating. There was often insufficient data necessary to ascertain how researchers engaged with the language and visual imagery of the medium.There is an insufficient amount of research in this area. In particular, there is a need to determine how children attribute meaning to depictions of mental illness in children's media.