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Tabloid ‘slur’ blasted by mental health boss
A TABLOID newspaper’s story about “killer mental patients” has been slammed by a county NHS foundation this week.
On Monday, The Sun claimed that 1,200 murders were carried out by people with a mental illness over a decade in its “exclusive” splash.
Britain’s most popular paper has since been accused of misleading the public with inaccurate reporting of the statistics and of continuing to stigmatise people with a mental health disorder.
Professor Jane Melton, clinical director for social inclusion with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust – which provides social and mental healthcare services in Herefordshire – said: “The media has a big role to play in helping us to break down the stigma around mental illness, and unfortunately headlines such as these do not help.
“The fact is that people with mental health conditions are far more likely to be victims of crime, rather than perpetrators, and the overwhelming majority of violent crimes are committed by people with no mental health problems at all.”
She said that one in four people will have a mental health condition at some time and people need to be encouraged to seek support rather than be portrayed as being different or a threat in any way.
“We and other organisations will continue to try and break down these barriers and hope that stories like this don’t cause too much damage along the way,” she added.
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