Halloween has become a time of year when the manufacture of products that demonise or stigmatise is in the public eye, as every year retailers become forced to withdraw from sale products that customers & campaigners bring to their attention.
2016 was a particularly bad year for offensive mental health stigmatising products.
In the UK, supermarket chain Morrisons came under pressure for selling a Halloween curtain with the words "Asylum No One Leaves". After a sustained campaign, Morrisons finally withdrew the product.
In the UK, according to the Mental Health Foundation, we have "the highest self-harm rate of any country in Europe with estimates of 400 in 100,000 people self-harm.These figures are likely to be higher as many people who self-harm do not tell anyone about it."
With these facts in mind, any attempt by manufacturers to trivialise, stigmatise or minimise this public health epidemic, seems particularly offensive and immoral.
And yet, the manufacture and sale of products that target & perpetuate mental health stigma continues unchallenged, despite important breakthroughs in disability legislation in the UK.
As an example, this manufacturer produces realistic self-harm products which are available to buy (at the time of writing) from on one of the largest online retailers in the UK. And in case the viewer is left in any doubt as to who these products are being sold to, note the faces used in the ads!