Today is Halloween, but for those of us who suffer from mental health problems, it’s not so funny when our psychological health is stigmatised by people who are looking to dress up and make fun of our illnesses.
This is the time of year when many people dress up for Halloween and attend parties. Don’t try to glamorise mental health by dressing up as a Psycho killer or a doctor in a white coat isn’t the same as a killer monster or a bloodsucking vampire.
Mental health and fear still need a lot more research and people still need educating on the subject because even in 2017 many people still see mental health sufferers as freaks who are dangerous to society and who can’t be trusted.
You can have a fantastic night without glamorising mental health or stigmatise it. Just spare a little thought for those of us who have mental illness and can’t escape from it. We have to deal with enough stigma without being seen as a scary joke.
Many of us who have mental illness see the monsters and scary images on a daily basis. You wouldn’t shave your head and go out dressed as a cancer patient, so please don’t dress up as someone who is suffering from mental issues. It’s hurtful, stupid and not at all funny.
Halloween should be a fun time of year. There are lots of fun characters that you can dress up as without making fun of mental health such as ‘mental patient’ and ‘Psycho ward’.
Whats even more disturbing is the fact that people are hosting parties with themes that include Asylum Creek and hanging things from trees without realising or recalling that someone who drives by every day had a son or daughter who died by suicide.
In 2016, NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) in the US received many comments about protests over Halloween stigma. Most individuals and families affected by mental illness agree with them, with many finding many Halloween costumes hurtful and insensitive towards individuals who are either mental health sufferers or have loved ones who also have mental wellbeing issues.
Many of us who struggle with mental illness see the monsters and scary images on a daily basis. You wouldn’t shave your head and go out dressed as a cancer patient, so please don’t dress up as someone who is suffering from mental issues. It’s hurtful, stupid and not at all funny.
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