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Mental Patient Fancy Dress

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Spotted this on the BBC and thought it was probably good fodder for discussion here given how much it focuses on mental health.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24278768

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-24282737

Anyone any strong feelings one way or the other? I'm struggling to get het up about it. Clearly Tesco and ASDA fear the bad PR so will swing whichever way that dictates, but imagine a world where all mighty dollar wasn't their prime motivator, should they have taken them off the shelves? Is this a case of offence seeking or a genuine case of insensitivity and conciousness raising?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As a 'mental' :), no it doesn't bother me. As always too much focus on what is said rather than why/who said it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    With my own mental health problems this didn't bother me either. I actually found it quite funny. It doesn't matter what you say anymore. There is always gonna be someone who takes offence and wants their feelings known.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't personally find it offensive, but they could easily have called it an 'axe murderer' costume or 'zombie doctor' or something to start with and completely avoided any controversy.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wouldn't go as far as offended, but I was surprised when I heard about it. I think the point that people have been trying to put across is having a mental patient costume being associated with something which is meant to be scary isn't doing a lot to reduce the stigma which is already held. Whilst I think that it was done as a joke, it wasn't well thought out and has implied that people with mental illness should be feared. In reality, however, someone with mental illness doesn't have an axe in their back pocket, they don't have blood all over their face and they don't walk around in ripped zombie-style clothes. They look like you or I, and in the event of being covered in blood, I'd personally say that the person is very unwell which isn't something to be mocked.

    Agree with Grace, if the costume had a difference name, the consequential controversy would have been avoided.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Grace wrote: »
    I don't personally find it offensive, but they could easily have called it an 'axe murderer' costume or 'zombie doctor' or something to start with and completely avoided any controversy.

    Agreed. And no doubt it'll probably reappear on the website in a few weeks with this sort of title. It looked like a not half bad costume all considered.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yet another example of the world being ridiculously PC and people being "offended" by almost anything.....

    Someone made a very good point in the comments section of the BBC article.

    How are those costumes wrong....but the "sexy schoolgirl" outfit is deemed appropriate?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Agreed. And no doubt it'll probably reappear on the website in a few weeks with this sort of title. It looked like a not half bad costume all considered.

    Pretty much.

    I'm not personally offended, because it was clearly not meant to be malicious, but it does bother me from a stigma point of view. Technically, I am a mental patient, because I am a patient under a mental health team. Unfortunately, this is still the picture people have in their minds when they hear "mental patient", and I think that's something that absolutely needs to change. I'm glad it was flagged and I hope it causes Tesco and asda to think more about appropriate labeling and how it can impact in terms of casual stigma.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Neddy wrote: »
    Yet another example of the world being ridiculously PC and people being "offended" by almost anything.....

    Someone made a very good point in the comments section of the BBC article.

    How are those costumes wrong....but the "sexy schoolgirl" outfit is deemed appropriate?

    I don't think the problem is with the actual costumes, but the labeling of them. If they'd been named "axe murderer" as (grace?) said, I don't think anybody would have batted an eyelid.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    but they didn't call it axe murderer did they? they made a conscious decision to call it mental patient.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's the issues around stigma that worry me but I think this has been a huge publicity op for lots of mental health charities
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Nutter wrote: »
    but they didn't call it axe murderer did they? they made a conscious decision to call it mental patient.....

    Exactly. And that just increases stigma.

    I am a mental patient, as are a lot of users of this site. None of us look like that. Giving that costume the name "mental patient" just concretes the idea in people's heads that mental illness equates to axe wielding murderers. Which is dangerous.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I thought it was pretty shocking that it took people jumping on a band wagon before something was done about it. The ASDA product was on sale for two weeks, and it took an ex footballer tweeting about it before people even noticed it was there, surely someone should have had the decency to complain about it and do something well before then? It seems that the Barbara Streisand effect is well in effect. However I dont think it was right for them to sell it, but as has been touched on, I doubt it was meant maliciously, though it also does nothing to help with any attached stigmas.

    Although both Asda and Tesco have had similar issues in recent days, ASDA were very quick off the mark with their apology and promise of a substantial donation to a mental health charity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And tesco not so much I'm guessing?
  • Annaarrr!!Annaarrr!! Noob Posts: 876
    Didn't bother me or my bf. Just petty getting wound up about that imo
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    surely someone should have had the decency to complain about it and do something well before then?

    Do many people really look at halloween stuff before October?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Annaarrr!! wrote: »
    Just petty getting wound up about that imo

    Couldn't disagree more. It might seem petty in the grand scheme of things, but we see people here day in, day out, terrified of disclosing mental health issues to anyone (even a professional) in case they lose their job, lose their friends, are labelled a "freak". That fear hasn't just popped into their heads from nowhere, the stigma is real and damaging. It leads people to avoid seeking help, and in extreme cases not seeking help can lead to death.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I feel more uncomfortable with the resulting hoo ha than with the original problem. Yes, calling it a mental patient outfit was insensitive and should never have happened. Yes, people were well within their rights to complain, but the mass and very public outpouring of offence-taking is not exactly having a positive effect on the stigma issue (which I do 100% agree is a big issue).

    If we ringfence mental health as an area which MUST NOT be mocked, that just keeps it in the realms of taboo, and IMO is totally at odds with the campaigns to talk more openly about it.

    Asda made a stupid mistake, it was pointed out, and they corrected it and apologised. Job done.
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