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Asda withdraws ‘mental patient’ fancy dress costume


Supermarket chain Asda has withdrawn a “mental patient” fancy dress costume from sale after the product was deemed distasteful by the public.

The Halloween costume was designed to look like a straitjacket covered in blood and went on sale through clothing arm George at Asda for £20, Sky News reported.

Asda quickly withdrew the product and pledged to make a “sizeable” donation to the Mind charity for mental illness.

Twitter users attacked Asda over the sale of the product. Former England footballer Stan Collymore, who has had depression, wrote: “Do you actually realise how many people are hanging themselves because of being frightened of the stigma?”

Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell, MP Mike Thornton and charity Rethink Mental Illness were among the critics of the item.

Asda said: “We’re deeply sorry one of our fancy dress costumes has upset people. This was an unacceptable error – the product was withdrawn immediately.

“We’d like to offer our sincere apologies for the offence it’s caused and will be making a sizeable donation to @MindCharity.”

Sue Baker, director of the anti-stigma campaign Time to Change, which is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, said: “Asda have shown themselves to be extremely misguided with their ‘mental health patient’ fancy dress costume.

“It is staggeringly offensive to the one in four of us affected by mental health problems and our families and friends, and troubling that some businesses are still so out of touch with the public mood. 

“However, it is encouraging to see the groundswell of outcry on Twitter and that our voices are being heard,” she added.

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Readers' comments (6)

  • Pussy

    Do- gooders need to lighten up and get a grip! There's always somebody who takes offence on behalf of somebody else! Pathetic!

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  • Probably not the best costume...but a bit of a storm in a teacup.
    Wasn't 'Halloween' the movie predicated on the same premise?

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  • right lets get to story straight halloween is american and not brit so it is american fancy dress gone wrong supporting big films
    which it is not about.which scares older dear when they come to the door it is trick or treat not scare the sh*t out of them thats the trouble with this country they have to follow someone else . so you above have to dress like that to be noticed

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  • I don't have a mental health problem, but I found it offensive, and there is nothing much that usually phases me. Tescos have done a similar thing, as has ebay.

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  • I do have a mental health problem. I am appalled by these costumes. It is not over the top or pathetic to be offended. I do not habitually turn up to work in a bloodstained straitjacket, but it now seems to be appropriate to wear something like this to poke fun at painful, disabling conditions. I'm looking forward to "chemo patient", "amputee guy" and "stroke lady" as by the tone of comments above those costumes shouldn't cause offence.

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  • it is unnecessary to cause offence or make jokes at the expense of more sensitive and vulnerable individuals. Hopefully these are not nurses who trivialise such a poor idea and attitude.

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