Letter - Mental health bodies seek accuracy...

My colleagues and I were slightly offended by your headline 'Mental health NGOs seek sympathy' (Analysis, 3 Nov). We're not seeking sympathy; we're simply trying to make sure that mental health is reported on with balance and accuracy.

It is outrageous that the media are still allowed to label a person with a mental illness 'a nutter'. As long as the media continue to sensationalise and denigrate mental illness, society will think it acceptable.

While some journalists do report intelligently on mental health, the sad truth is that they are in the minority. The media often portray mental illness in a way that evokes fear and anxiety.

One national paper recently said one in five young people in the UK self-harms. In fact, it is one in 12. We briefed the journalist, yet he obviously chose to ignore the truth.

Andrew McCulloch, CEO, The Mental Health Foundation.

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