Katie Hopkins has been accused of propagating stigmas around mental health after suggesting Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet is made up of people suffering from mental health issues.
The columnist and TV personality was criticised for making an insensitive comment when she reacted to the Labour leader’s question about mental health in the UK in his first Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.
Corbyn, who appointed a dedicated ‘Minister for Mental Health’ to his shadow cabinet this week, was praised on social media for raising the issue of mental health and the mental health service.
He has called for less theatrical PMQs and attempted to focus discussion by reading out questions emailed to him by members of the public. Corbyn started with mental health after receiving over a thousand requests to address services in the UK.
Reading out a question from a mental health professional named only as Angela, he asked David Cameron: “What does the Prime Minister say to Angela, to people like her who work so hard in the mental health services, or people going through a mental health crisis who may well be watching us today, on Prime Minister’s Question time, and want to know that we take seriously their conditions and their need for emergency beds to be near their homes and their support system, and that we as a society take seriously their plight and are going to help them and care for them?”
Hopkins responded to Corbyn’s comments with a tweet branded “tasteless, offensive and crass” by Twitter users.
Most of those suffering a mental health crises in the UK have agreed to be in the shadow cabinet Jez #PMQs; Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) September 16, 2015
@KTHopkins dismissive comments about mental health propagate the attached stigma. Not funny at all.; Jenah (@jenah_w) September 16, 2015
@KTHopkins You should be ashamed of yourself for that comment, particularly from the privileged position you found yourself in.; Paul Keegan (@LevityPsyche) September 16, 2015
@KTHopkins not funny.mental health is not a topic for jokes.silly woman; bryan thomp$on (@bryzee1) September 16, 2015
@KTHopkins tasteless offensive and crass; Liam Schewitz (@LoadsaConsonant) September 16, 2015
She prompted outrage with controversial remarks about depression in March after it emerged a pilot had intentionally downed a Germanwings plane, killing everyone on board.
In a series of tweets, she wrote: "Sympathy for the co-pilot is making me angry. If you are suicidal, for goodness sake top yourself in private. Attention seeking b*stards.
"People with depression do not need a doctor and a bottle of something that rattles. They need a pair of running shoes and fresh air."
Hopkins also suggested being depressed was "fashionable" and later defended her comments in her weekly column for The Sun.Reuse content