Retailers remove 'psycho' outfits

Supermarket giants Asda and Tesco have been forced to apologise for selling fancy dress outfits called 'mental patient' and 'psycho ward'. Both retailers have removed the items.

Latest ITV News reports

Asda donate £25,000 to Mind after outfit row

Chief executive of mental health charity Mind Paul Farmer said that Asda will donate £25,000 to the organisation after selling a 'mental patient' fancy dress costume.

The official Twitter account of Mind wrote:

Read: Asda 'deeply sorry' for selling 'mental patient' fancy dress costume

Read: Tesco removes 'Psycho Ward' fancy dress costume

Mind: Asda's costume 'staggeringly offensive'

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.

We hope this will urge Asda as well as other retailers and manufacturers to review their processes and consider taste and decency on mental health grounds, to avoid fuelling stigma and discrimination that are so damaging for large numbers of the population.

– Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness

Read: Asda 'deeply sorry' for selling 'mental patient' fancy dress costume

Read: Tesco removes 'Psycho Ward' fancy dress costume

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Tesco removes 'Psycho Ward' fancy dress costume

A Tesco spokesperson told ITV News they have removed a fancy dress costume called "Psycho Ward" from their website and apologised "for any offence caused".

The website sells a costume called 'Psycho Ward'. Credit: Tesco

A spokesperson said: "We're really sorry for any offence this has caused and we are removing this product from sale.”

Read: Asda 'deeply sorry' for selling 'mental patient' fancy dress costume

Tesco sells fancy dress costume called 'Psycho Ward'

Asda has been criticised by charities for its 'mental patient' fancy dress costume but they are not the only major retailer selling outfits based on mental health issues.

The website sells a costume called 'Psycho Ward'. Credit: Tesco

Tesco sells a bright orange adult costume called "Psycho Ward" which has the word "committed" printed on the back.

The website's description of the costume says: "Dress up as the most thrilling psycho killer character of all time in this Psycho Ward costume, consisting of a bright orange, long-sleeved boiler suit with zip fastener to front 'Psycho Ward' printed on the chest.

"The same words (are) printed on the back in larger letters with a prominent 'Committed' stamp just below."

ITV News has asked Tesco for a comment but they have not yet responded.

Read: Asda 'deeply sorry' for selling 'mental patient' fancy dress costume

Campaigner: Asda 'crossed the line' on fancy dress outfit

A campaigner for the mental health charity Mind told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Asda "crossed the line" after selling a 'mental patient' fancy dress costume.

Nine out of 10 people using mental health services in patient care report stigma and discrimination from a range of sources.

Stigma and discrimination is unfortunately still really damaging in England today and this kind of myth of the dangerousness posed by people, that you should be scared of anyone who has used mental health services, is really damaging.

(Asda) certainly crossed the line here and I hear it might well have been changed with the addition of mental patient, so it was definitely being used to tap into negative stereotypes.

– Sue Baker, campaigner for mental health charity Mind

Read: Asda 'deeply sorry' for selling 'mental patient' fancy dress costume

Charity hopes outcry will lead others to withdraw outfit

Mental health charity Time to Change said Asda's fancy dress costume "reinforces the myth that those with mental illness are all violent" and they hoped the outcry would lead to other retailers withdrawing the outfit.

Their official Twitter account wrote:

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Asda's mental health patient costume reinforces the myth that those with mental illness are all violent. Our response http://t.co/lFbNtSUl1X

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Our director on @bbc5live talking about Asda's mental health patient costume: 'hopefully the outcry will urge other retailers to withdraw'

Read: Asda 'deeply sorry' for selling 'mental patient' fancy dress costume

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