Posts Tagged ‘mind’

Oh dear Asda. In a fit of shocking taste, Asda’s decision to sell a mental patient costume for Hallowe’en has been criticised by all and sundry for pandering to outdated and harmful stereotypes. The costume has now been removed from sale, but we have a picture of what it looks like.

mental patient 300x165 Is Asdas latest Halloween costume completely mental?

As you all know, decaying skin, blood spattered clothing and  a meat cleaver are the top three ways in which you identify someone with mental health issues. These horrors certainly do not look just like you, or me, and are incredibly terrifying individuals, worthy of a scary costume.

Last night, Asda issued a statement saying the decision to sell the costume was a “completely unacceptable error” adding that it “should never have been sold and it was withdrawn as soon as it was brought to our attention.”

Asda finished: “We’re deeply sorry one of our fancy dress costumes has upset people.”

Mental health charities have roundly deplored Asda’s actions, and the supermarket has announced it will be making a “sizeable donation” to Mind by way of an apology. Fellow supermarketer Tesco has also withdrawn one of its Hallowe’en costumes named ‘Psycho’, in which the wearer sports an orange jumpsuit, a hockey mask and a machete, in anticipation of a related backlash.

But is it the costumes that are the problem or the name? The Tesco costume looks more like an escaped prisoner (or a famous art-loving cannibal) than someone with mental health issues, and the Asda costume was originally found under a link to a “zombie” costume. Would we have this debate over zombie and cannibal costumes?

Either way, it seems the stigma surrounding those with mental health is still alive and kicking, despite the much quoted statistics that one in four of us will suffer mental health problems during our life. And if you have three friends who seem normal- looks like you’re the nutjob.


worried 225x300 The Government wants to know about your financial wellbeing

a worried man, yesterday

On Friday, the Money Advice Service (you know, that annoying ‘Ask Ma’ advert) asked for “evidence to help draw up a new national strategy to help improve the UK’s financial wellbeing.” Basically, they are going to ask everyone, including charity organisations to tell them about projects and initiatives which have successfully improved people’s financial wellbeing.

Most people would probably argue that having a job, more money or a lower cost of living would improve their financial wellbeing, but the Government, in its infinite wisdom, thinks that instead, people need a “blueprint” to help them manage their money. The survey will also find out whether people have got any better with money since the last survey was produced by the FSA (now the FCA) back in 2006. And perhaps they will find that people have got better with money, after all it’s a case of needs must for many.

But perhaps Ma could just ask how people are feeling about their money (or lack thereof). In conjunction with mental health charity Mind, Moneysupermarket have found that, somewhat unsurprisingly, our current or future financial situation is the thing that causes the biggest stress for almost a third of us (31%).

The research showed that 18% say it is their current financial situation which causes them the most stress, and a further 13% are most worried about their future financial situation. Third up is health worries, also at 13%. To make matters worse, 72% of people worried about their finances think Professor Brian Cox is talking out of his behind and that things can only get worse, with half of these people blaming the rising cost of living for ever-increasing money worries. Ten per cent of people think uncertainty over their benefits will add to their financial stress- probably those middle class couples worrying if one of their earnings is going to tip over the £50,000 threshold so they will lose their child benefit.

Almost half of all respondents (48%) claim they are either frequently or occasionally worried about their financial situation, with 18 to 34 year olds (62% of the relatively-young) being worst affected.

The Ma final report is due out in 2014.

picture 27 Bah, humbug! Mystery man plans end to Christmas in SummerIf we were 87 year-old Denis Norden, we’d say that next is a story to file under “about bastard time, too” – although Norden wouldn’t say bastard, unless he’d had a very large glass of gin: a shadowy organisation named the Movement for the Containment of Christmas is threatening shopkeepers who dare to slip into the Yuletide spirit too early.

Four businesses in Leeds have received letters warning them not to sell Christmas cards before November and a charity shop in Headingly has had its locks glued. Police have confirmed they are investigating the letters as well as mysterious phonecalls received by staff and hooded characters caught on CCTV posting the letters, which read:


This is a very polite but very serious reminder not to display Xmas cards until 1st Nov.

We will put superglue in your locks if you do.

Peace and goodwill

(The MIND shop got done on Sunday)

Genius. Either it’s an individual concerned at the continued commercialisation of Christ’s birth, an outraged Bitterwallet reader or a just a regular mentalist. Either way, we’re secretly with them on this one, aren’t we? If it’s you, get in touch and tell us whether you’re likely to start scooping the organs out of prostitutes next. We’d quite like the scoop if you are.

[Daily Mail]