Mental Health discrimination?

On the news today is the story of Asda having to withdraw one of their Halloween Dressing up costumes because they sent it to market called “Mental Health Patient”.

 The costume would blend in well in Michael Jacksons Killer Zombie video and is covered in blood, the implication being that mental patients are all psychopathic killers.

Fortunately a storm of protest has resulted in Asda withdrawing the product, making a “sizable” donation to the Charity Mind, and reminding the general public via the outcry how important it is not to use offensive language regarding disability and particularly mental health.

Not so long ago my job was to design the Dressing up costumes that were sold to Asda and the rest of the major UK stores- that costume would have been designed, sampled, taken to the head office, revised and re-costed over a period of at least  six months. Asda had plenty of time to pick up on the potential disaster.

I hope that the publicity will remind us to think before we speak and especially before we publish, mental health is the most misunderstood disability and we all have a lot to learn.