'We need people to speak out about it'
Sunday 04 August 2002
The comedian Jo Brand has joined the growing list of supporters for The Independent on Sunday's Mental Health campaign. Brand, a former psychiatric nurse at Maudsley hospital in London, believes that there is huge ignorance about the subject.
"People who I'd consider to be pretty intelligent don't seem to know the difference between mental illness and different forms of educational disability," she said. "If people that have been to university don't know, how we expect anyone who hasn't had a brilliant education to tell the difference I don't know really."
Brand included many of her fellow comics in the "ignorant" category. "You hear so many 'I'm a schizophrenic and so am I' jokes which people think are quite funny. But because they're based on such a poor knowledge of what schizophrenia is about they're just ridiculous."
The comic called on the rest of the British media to take up mental health issues responsibly. "The press could do a lot more – the tabloids in particular tend to pick photos of people with mental illness looking like wild animals. It's like any sort of prejudice – you have to keep chipping away at it and people who have experience of it have to speak out about it and not be ashamed."
Michael Kennedy, a leading mental health lawyer at Switalki's solicitors, also lent his support and attacked the Government for "focusing on risk issues and proposing preventative detention for people with severe personality disorders". He said more attention should be focused on prisoners with mental health problems.
Life & Style blogs
This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
Tinder Plus: premium service launches, charging much more for those over 28
My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin: How I outwitted the Gestapo
Drinking three to five cups of a coffee a day could reduce risk of heart attacks, study finds
Running test reveals whether you will die in the next decade
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler/Probate ...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This precious metal refining co...
£20000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Conveyancing Fee Earne...