Today on Facebook I heard about the Psycho Ward and Mental Patient fancy dress costumes on sale by Tesco, Asda and Amazon that have been causing a stir. It seems that despite the millions poured in to anti-stigma campaigns the mentally ill are still seen as psychos and mental.
Asda has removed their mental patient costume, a BBC article 'Asda 'mental patient' costume withdrawn from sale online' quote:
"Following criticism, including from one "stunned" mental health
charity, the store offered "sincere apologies for the offence it has
caused". It would be making a "very sizeable donation" to mental health charity Mind, Asda added. In a statement on Wednesday evening, Asda, which is owned by
US retail giant Walmart, said the sale had been a "completely
Just noticed that Tesco and Amazon have now removed the Psycho Ward costumes. However I'm not shocked or horrified by the costumes. I think they highlight the fact that stigma and discrimination in mental health terms is very much alive and kicking.
And I suspect that the costumes were selling well. Because the reality for those of us experiencing mental distress or a psychosis is that we are labelled in the psychiatric notes, indelibly, with no scientific proof of any disease. Lifelong mental illness. Well I never believed a word of it.
So if I see any folk in psycho ward or mental patient costumes at Halloween I'll just have a laugh to myself. Because it's far scarier to be detained in a psychiatric ward and forced to take psychiatric drugs against your will.
To then have schizoaffective disorder written in your medical notes and "family history of ..." written in the notes of your sons if they happen to experience mental distress and have to engage with psychiatry.