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Mental Health Prejudice

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Because of the kind of place I work in (public sector), we do get quite a few people through our doors with both mental and physical health issues.

There's a new manager in work, who came up to me yesterday morning and said "a fruitcake came in yesterday and I have booked her to you at ten past two"... I was a bit shocked (this person had been fobbed off on me without even considering I have a diary), mostly that somebody in a position of power is using that kind of backward language to describe somebody who may be ill or have a disability...

I replied asking if she thinks the woman may have a mental illness, or if there's anything about her behaviour which I need to be wary of (we occasionally get aggressive people in) and she replied "no, she's just a fruitcake".

Having experienced mental illness... I feel a bit offended. Somebody else mentioned that she has used the language casually before, similar to describe people... I looked at the woman's file and I have dealt with her before and I do think that she may have a mental illness, or be vulnerable due to her behaviour (for example, once she thought a man was reading her details over her shoulder during an interview and got really upset and anxious when he wasn't near her), but people in her position need support and understanding, not name calling...

I actually don't know what to do... I know that it would be in no way acceptable if she were using racist language, or something to do with a physical disability... At the same time, there's a bullying culture in work and I don't wanna become a target, especially with cuts coming up.

One thing I thought was running a mental health campaign under the Diversity and Equality banner... Does anybody else have any ideas?


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No ideas really, just I totally understand how you feel.
    Maybe you could look at some websites for advice, like the Time to Change campaign?
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