So, ASDA thought it was a good idea to put up a gruesome Hallowe’en outfit and bill it as a “mental patient’s” outfit.
Gee, thanks. That sort of stereotype of people with mental health problems is why I lost my teens to Depression and a good bit of my 20s to Depression and Anxiety. If it had been easier to talk about these things, maybe, just maybe, I’d have had the help I needed sooner. Encouraging such awful and inaccurate stereotypes is offensive and irresponsible
What gets me is that more than one person must have seen that before it went live. Why did it not ring alarm bells with them? It just shows how deeply prejudices are engrained and how much we still have to do to challenge the stigma of mental illness.
But, anyway, it’s fine now. ASDA have apologised and donated a sum to a mental health charity. Actually, not, it’s not. They deserve to take some punishment for ever having done it in the first place. It dawned on me that a day’s boycott is the very least that they deserve.
With Scottish Mental Health Awareness Week beginning on 4th October, it dawns on me that Saturday 5th might be a good day to ask people not to shop there.
Tesco and Amazon, too, have been guilty of the same sort of thing, so they can share the pain, too. And anyone else who thinks it’s ok to cast people with mental illness in that way, making it more difficult for them to seek the help that they need. You worry how your family, your friends, your employer would react enough without these stores planting the ridiculous idea that you’re about to run amok with a meat cleaver.
There are times when saying sorry isn’t enough, and this is one of them.