Read Denise McKenna’s co founder of Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN) response to Rethink’s mail out that termed people with mental health issues as a ‘disease burden’!
DPAC fully support our good friends Denise and MHRN in urging Rethink to issue an immediate apology for using this offensive term.
If you want to email Rethink’s CEO too his email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr Winstanley,
Members of the Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN) and our friends at Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) were included in your mail-out below. We were shocked and bewildered that Rethink thought it acceptable to use the term “disease burden” in relation to mental health in a bulk mail-out. In this context it is brutal language and has caused offence to those of us who live with mental distress and to other members of the disability movement who have received your mailing.
“Disease burden” is a specialist piece of jargon used in disease informatics but, even when used in this context, disabled people do not accept that it is neutral. No language is neutral and this term should never have been used in a mail-out to random disabled people. You are no doubt aware that the words “disease” and, above all, “burden” are highly toxic to disabled people and those living with mental distress. It was crass to send this out willy nilly. Is there no sensitivity at Rethink?
We urge you to issue an immediate apology to all of the people who received this mailing and rightly experienced it as offensive and hurtful.