Asda and Tesco sparked outrage this morning, facing a barrage of complaints for selling tasteless Halloween costumes apparently depicting a "mental patient" and a "psycho ward patient."
Mental health charities and patients alike reacted furiously, slamming the supermarket giants for making light of mental health issues and for "reinforcing the stigma" that those with mental illness are violent.
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Responding to the costumes, the charity Time To Change, took to Twitter to encourage people to reverse the stereotype with the hashtags #timetochange and #mentalpatient.
As a positive response to the offensive costume sold by household brands we're asking you to send us a pic of your #mentalpatient outfits!— Time to Change (@TimetoChange) September 26, 2013
After the request went viral, with people responding in their hundreds, the charity said how encouraging it is to see the outcry on Twitter and that "voices are being heard."
Apologies if this frightens small children & the elderly but..September 26, 2013