One in four people will experience mental health problems in their lifetime. With that in mind, read on…
I was alerted via Twitter of a Halloween costume that ASDA are selling this year.
Usually I post links at the bottom of posts, but it may be useful for readers on this occasion to check it out first before continuing to read…
Yes, for £20 you can purchase a:
Mental Patient Fancy Dress Costume
With the following description:
Everyone will be running away from you in fear in this mental patient fancy dress costume. Comprising of a torn blood stained shirt, blood stained plastic meat cleaver and gory facemask it’s a terrifying Halloween option.
In the 21st century, how can this type of perception continue?
We need to think about how entrenched views of mental illness are in our society, and how we can address something so ingrained in history. For hundreds, if not thousands, of years mental illness has been feared and people experiencing symptoms have been victimised and stigmatised. Whilst what ASDA has done is completely and utterly worthy of outrage, it is also an important reminder that misconceptions about mental illness and psychiatric patients persist and need to be addressed.
The responses to Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) when he tweeted regarding the ASDA costume mentioned above are further proof that stigma towards the mentally ill is widespread and overt.
Mental health patients are not the danger they are so often portrayed in the media.
MIND have produced an excellent leaflet, which can be viewed on their website or downloaded from there, which gives statistics and facts on mental illness. It has a section on “dangerousness”. It can be viewed via the link below:
I apologise if this post comes across as ranting in nature or not as polished / coherent as some of the previous posts on my blog; on this occasion I wanted to write rather than let my feelings about the issue build.
So again… One in four people will experience mental health problems in their lifetime. My one request is that anyone who has read this post this far thinks about what they can do to address mental health stigma today.
*** UPDATE 23:15 25/09/13***
Asda (@asda) have tweeted:
We’d like to offer our sincere apologies for the offence it’s caused and will be making a sizeable donation to @MindCharity.
However, ASDA it seems are not the only ones to offer such goods this Halloween. How about this from Tesco?:
Apparently AmazonUK also have similar items for sale. More evidence that we need to tackle the stigma around mental illness.