Each Halloween there is conversation surrounding political correctness of costumes, it seems some are unable to judge what is appropriate. The general rule is that cultural appropriation is not a costume, you cannot simply dress as a race. This same rule applies to mental illness. This Halloween, take a moment to reconsider before dressing as someone suffering with a mental illness.
1 in 5 Canadians Struggle With a Mental Health Issue
Dressing as a mental ward patient is offensive to those who do require in-patient treatment in mental health facility. It also plays into the stereotypes of mental health issues. Not all who struggle with their mental health look like the mental patient from the 1950s asylum you are trying to portray. You are doing a disservice to your coworkers, your friends, and your family.
In an effort to combat these stereotypes and help people see what mental illness really looks like This Is My Brave created #faceofmentalillness. With this hashtag people are able to share selfies and change the image of those suffering with mental illness.
This Halloween please consider the impact your costume can have on others. Before you show up to a party dressed as a mental patient please consider that almost everyone at that party will have been touched by mental illness in one way or another and that your costume may not be as funny as you think.