The Sun has been accused of stigmatising those in Britain living with mental health problems after publishing a front page splash with the headline “1,200 killed by mental patients”.
Angry campaigners and members of the public took to Twitter to express their anger and call for complaints to be made to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).
Former footballer Stan Collymore – who has spoken publicly about his battle with depression – called for people to stand up and speak out against the headline while former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell, an ambassador for the Time To Change campaign, said the front page was an indicator of how far campaigners had to go in the fight to change perceptions of mental health problems.
The front page comes less than a fortnight after supermarket Asda pulled a “mental patient” Halloween costume from its stores following complaints and less than a month since the Sun caused another front page controversy with an editorial demanding reforms on the rights of Muslim women to wear veils in a number of public places.
More mocking of those with mental health issues again from the country's most predictable arse wipe. Shut it down.— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) October 6, 2013
The Sun’s decided to further stigmatise the 1 in 4 Britons who have mental health problems. People will suffer because of it. Well played.— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) October 7, 2013
The Sun's splash on mentally ill people today is also an attack on many ex-soldiers who suffer from PTSD etc. Despicable.— Sunny Hundal (@sunny_hundal) October 7, 2013
The Sun also forgets thoses with untreated mental illness are more at risk of take their own lives than some one else's .— Kevan Jones MP (@KevanJonesMP) October 7, 2013
I see The Sun has plumbed new depths in disgraceful scaremongering with their 'mental patients' headline. Crass doesn't begin to describe it— Peter B Mason (@PeterBMason) October 7, 2013
I think everyone who knows anyone who has suffered from any form of mental illness should complain to 'The Sun' & PCC about today's headline— Anne Booth (@Bridgeanne) October 7, 2013
The Sun continuing to cause offence and fear. Ridiculous! Mental health is already stigmatised, why make it more difficult for people?— Katie Whittam (@UnionKatie) October 7, 2013
Absolutely appalling and grossly misleading stuff from The Sun today. Just shows the ignorance and prejudice towards mental health.— Ed Simpson (@EdSimpsonNI) October 7, 2013