“Time to Change” is a mental health initiative run by the charities “Mind” and “Rethink mental Illness” to fight the stigma attached to mental illness. I am a Time to Change Champion and Rethink activist and whenever possible I volunteer to help this worthy cause.
As someone who has suffered with depression for more than 30 years, and actively committed to changing people’s attitudes towards mental illness, you can probably imagine my shock, disgust and outrage at the news this week that ASDA and Tesco were selling Halloween “mental patient” outfits.
Thankfully, the uproar was so great that both supermarkets have been forced to remove their products from sale and have pledged large sums of money as donations to both Mind and Rethink in recompense.
Whilst I applause this turnaround, I despair that two huge corporate giants actually thought it acceptable in the first place to sell these outfits. Who sanctioned this? Did they think? What is their perception of mental illness and why? Did they really feel that people would dress up as a mental patient for Halloween and why? Personally I find this difficult to comprehend but at the risk of being over-sensitive, I would like to understand more about the root of this train of thought before I make my final judgement. It’s all very well to make a hefty monetary donation but I would like to see our mental health charities following up on this to find out why it was deemed acceptable in the first place. It is simply disgusting and needs to be stopped now.
It really is “Time To Change”