Have you been thinking along these lines or have things like this been said to you? Do you want to understand the other side of the argument or know how others have responded?
- Isn’t this all a bit over the top? Don’t get so het up about it, it’s just a fancy dress costume! There are more important things to worry about. Get your priorities straight! You’re blowing this all out of proportion.
- It’s just a bit of fun! Go on, get a sense of humour, laugh a little, don’t be such a killjoy!
- No offence was intended – it wasn’t intentional!
- You’re just drawing attention to all this. Ignore it and it’ll go away.
- It’s freedom of expression1 You’re trying to censor me! It’s a dangerous slippery slope when you start trying to ban things!
If so, read on to find out what people have written on this subject, why it’s important, and what comes next.
Blog post to follow hopefully in the future, once it’s all percolating through the medication haze. In the meantime, here are my tweets from the evening of 25th. A
Please let me know of any additional links to add to the page so it’s as complete as possible.
My related links:
- Storify stories of tweets
- What does mental illness look like? Panorama & the Great Disability Scam (29th January)
- What does mental illness look like? The head clutcher (31st May)
Responses from health and mental health organisations:
- Centre for Mental Health – #mentalpatient – the end of the beginning, by Andy Bell, deputy chief executive (twitter @andy_bell_, @centreformh) (27th September)
- Merseycare NHS Trust – Open letter to Asda from chairman & chief executive
- Mind charity – Fighting stigma – Everyday #Mentalpatient (short Storify of tweets) (26th September)
- Rethink Mental Illness
- South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – “Following Asda’s
#mentalpatient mistake we have offered to work with them locally on education and staff training” (27th September) (twitter @allofusinmind)
- Time to Change
- Asda’s “mental health patient” costume is staggeringly offensive (26th September) (twitter @timetochange)
- #mentalpatient trends on Twitter as people show the real face of mental health (26th September)
- Challenging stigma on Twitter: Asda and Tesco’s ‘mental health patient’ costume (26th September) by Sarah Robbo (twitter @sarah_robbo)
- Finchley Reform Synagogue – sermon of Rabbi Miriam Berger (28th September) (twitter @finchleyreform)
- Neo (communications agency) – Asda inspires the mental health campaign of the year – “The explosive power of reactive campaigning online was again shown yesterday, when Asda accidentally inspired the best mental health campaign of the year” (27th September) by Charlie Peverett (twitter @cpev, @weareneo)
- Social Slurp (weekly Social Media campaign watchdog for the digital advertising/marketing industry, from Blue Claw) – #MentalPatient Campaign Fights Inappropriate Halloween Costumes (27th September) (twitter @blueclawsocial)
- Time Bank volunteering charity – Changing our attitudes to mental health by Becky Mumford, project coordinator, the Switch
- Adventures in Madness blog – What does a mental patient look like? (28th September)
- Amy Chose Life blog – The ‘Mental Patient’ scandal – my thoughts (27th September) by Amy-Louise (twitter @a_louisem)
- Beauty From Pain blog – ‘I don’t know what type of nutters are out there…’ (with pictures) (29th September)
- Be Mindfull, Not Mindless blog – ‘Mental Patient’ Costumes – A Blessing In Disguise (27th September) by Emma Harris (twitter @harris_emma)
- Card Therapy blog – Dear Mr. A. Clarke, CEO Asda and Mr. P. Clarke, CEO Tesco (26th September) by Emma Sheppard
- Digital Mental Health blog by Victoria Betton (twitter: @victoriabetton) – #MentalPatient – where it all started and what it all means – “When I sneaked a peak at my emails (ironically in the middle of a Time to Change Leeds steering group meeting) and clicked on an Asda link from one of our consultant psychiatrists, my heart started palpitating. I couldn’t believe the image in front of me. Surely this Halloween costume was a wind up? But the URL was legit. I shared it with colleagues around the table. We all gasped. “ (27th September)
- Dippyman blog – How a ‘mental patient’ fancy dress costume can be a force for good, by Paul Brook (twitter @paulbrook76) (26th September)
- The Fementalists blog – Storify story – This is what a #mentalpatient looks like, #canyoutell? now with more pictures! – “In response to some seriously distasteful and stigmatising “mental patient” costumes from ASDA, Tesco, and Amazon, mental health activists shared photos of what people with mental ill-health actually look like” -Storify story of tweets
- Graham Shaw Storify story – Using social media to effect change: a short story (26th September)
- I am, I am, I am blog – This is what a “mental patient” looks like, by Christie Mackie (27th September) (twitter @cefmac94)
- It’s Madness blog – Confessions of a mentalist part 3 – It ‘Asda’ be a joke (27th September)
- Lindy B blog – Can you tell? (27th September) (twitter @lapsangsusie)
- Mozbloke Storify story – Asda and the ‘mental patient’ fail, by Steve Morris (26th September
- Psychology Magpie blog – Supermarket ‘mental patient’ costume stigmatises children as well as adults (28th September)
- Skepchick blog – What a Mental Patient Looks Like (26th September) (twitter @skepchicks)
- The World of Mentalists blog – This Week in Mentalists – What’s in a Word Edition (28th September) (twitter @TWOM_blog)
- Zen and the art of tightrope walking blog – Asda, axes and the persistent myths of mental illness, by Vivienne Tuffnell (27th September) (twitter @guineapig66)
Mainstream media coverage:
- Asda ‘mental patient’ costume withdrawn from sale online (25th September)
- Asda and Tesco withdraw ‘mental’ patient outfits (video report by Emma Simpson) (26th September)
- Radio Five Live drive time show (at 40 mins & 2 hr 53) with Laura May (twitter @lauramaywritten) and Jane Hughes (twitter @janehug) of Rethink Mental Illness (26th September)
- Bournmouth Echo newspaper – Bournemouth fancy dress store defends controversial “mental patient” costumes after outrage (27th September) (twitter @Bournemouthecho)
- Channel 4 news
- I’m a real person – a wife and a mother. And I am bipolar, with Shea Wong (26th September)
- Mental patients tweet outfits in riposte to Asda & Tesco (26th September)
- Daily Mail newspaper – Now it is revealed Tesco had an ‘inflatable gay best friend’ in its online store… day after it stopped selling mental patient costumes (27th September)
- Guardian newspaper
- Asda withdraws ‘mental patient’ Halloween costume – “Thousands react angrily after supermarket website advertises fancy-dress costume that stigmatises mental illness” (26th September)
- Tesco pulls ‘psycho ward’ costume as consumer complaints mount – “Tesco apologises for ‘Committed’ costume as Asda is forced to withdraw a mental patient fancy dress costume” (26th September)
- ‘Mental patient’ fancy dress shows how deep offensive stereotypes go in society – “Tesco and Asda have done the decent thing. But we must work to end the stigma about mental health in work, communities, friends – even the NHS” (26th September) by Alistair Campbell (twitter @campbellclaret)
- Asda, offensive halloween costumes and mental health stigma – “The sale of costumes offensively portraying mental health patients shows there is still a great deal of stigma that needs to be challenged” by Dean Burnett (twitter @garwboy) (26th September)
- Independent newspaper
- Asda and Tesco apologise over ‘psycho’ costumes (26th September)
- Tesco apologises after ‘Gay best friend’ doll blows up into a PR disaster (27th September)
- If it’s not okay to dress as a cancer patient for Halloween, it’s not okay to dress as a mental patient – “We all have physical health and we all have mental health. The two are equal and should be treated that way.” by Ilona Burton (26th September)
- ITV – Asda ‘deeply sorry’ for selling ‘mental patient’ fancy dress costume (25th September)
- Nursing Times – Asda withdraws ‘mental patient’ fancy dress costume – “Supermarket chain Asda has withdrawn a “mental patient” fancy dress costume from sale after the product was deemed distasteful by the public” (26th September) (twitter @nursingtimes)
- Western Mail – What separates a comedian’s exploration of mental illness from a supermarket ‘psycho’ costume? by Darren Devine, interviewing comedian Juliette Burton (twitter @julietteburton)
- Yorkshire Evening Post – Leeds charity’s outrage over fancy dress costume (27th September)
- Aljazeera America (US) – Outrage over ‘mental patient’ Halloween costume in UK (27th September) (twitter @amjamstream)
- The Blaze website (US) – Why Were ‘Mental Patient’ And ‘Psycho Ward’ Costumes Pulled From Walmart-Owned Stores? (27th September) Interestingly, the story was filed in the entertainment section of the website – and, when I looked, it was underneath an advertisement for ammunition for a .22 long rifle with the headline, “We supply patriots, not the government”. A poll at the foot of the article asks, Did these Halloween costumes offend you? The choice of answers was “no”, “yes, mental health is no joke” or “I would be OK with them if they didn’t say “psycho2 or “mental”” 76% chose the first option (followed by 14% and 11%).
- Mr Conservative website – Walmart Removes Turban-Themed Bin Laden Halloween Costume From Website After Muslims Complain (28th September)
- Stand Up Kid blog – ‘It’s 2013, not 1813′: From stigma to stunning: brilliant social media response creates community around controversy (27th September) by Mark Joyella, US TV news anchor & reporter (twitter @standupkid)
Criticisms of the anti-stigma campaign:
- Spiked online-only current affairs mag – Who’s afraid of a Halloween costume? by Ken McLaughlin, senior lecturer in social work at Manchester Metropolitan University