UPDATE: Help Us Challenge the 'Psycho Asylum'
Posted by See Me, 5 December 2018
We’re happy to announce that after joining together with our volunteers and partner organisation Time to Change, that the Circus of Horror have changed the name of their next show, Psycho Asylum, to 'Extreme' and removed any mention of mental health.
A lot of work has been done to change the way people think about mental health, so outdated, inaccurate stereotypes that casually link mental health to violence and fear, are no longer seen. So we were shocked to read the title and description of this show, and very happy to see it change.
we challenged this as we felt this show could have contribute to people thinking that those of us who experience mental health problems are dangerous. This is completely wrong. On top of that is could also stop people from reaching out for help, if they feel this is how they are perceived.
While we felt the entire premise of the show needed to change,and we welcome the Circus of Horror's decision to listen to the mental health community and take action to address people concerns, particularly the references to schizophrenia.
People who are diagnosed with schizophrenia are people experiencing an illness, an illness which is incredibly hard to live with and can have a devastating impact on lives. So to see promotional material for a national show equating it to serial killing was devastating. In addition, using terms such as ‘the lunatics have taken over the asylum’ again just reinforces that people with mental health problems are to be feared, and the use of the discriminatory term ‘lunatic’ was shocking.
Our volunteer Liam said: “I’ve had schizophrenia since I was 16 and angry doesn’t cover it. This is disgusting, how dare they put in schizophrenics with serial killers and psychopaths? How can they do that? People with schizophrenia are just people, experiencing an illness they don’t want. If they could see what it was like to live with my condition for just one day, they would never think of doing that. I had to grow up with these attitudes and it was terrible, and to see it happening like this after all these years, words can’t describe how I feel.”