Take Survey
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
NEWS  | 

UPDATE: Controversial Show Ride Changed


Thursday, 25th September 2014 at 3:13 pm
Lina Caneva, Editor
The organisers of the Perth Royal Show have agreed to change the theme of a controversial ride after mental health organisations complained that it mocked people with mental illnesses.

Thursday, 25th September 2014
at 3:13 pm
Lina Caneva, Editor


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
UPDATE: Controversial Show Ride Changed
Thursday, 25th September 2014 at 3:13 pm

The organisers of the Perth Royal Show have agreed to change the theme of a controversial ride after mental health organisations complained that it mocked people with mental illnesses.

The attraction – 'Bethlem Sanatorium' – which was condemned by SANE Australia and other groups, will now be called ‘Mayhem Manor’, with a haunted house theme and all references to mental illness removed.

The ride previously depicted an infamous London mental health asylum from the 17th century, with actors pretending to be patients with a mental illness, portraying them as objects of mockery and fear.

SANE Australia CEO Jack Heath said the leadership shown by Western Australia’s mental health organisations and representative bodies was key to advocating for the speedy resolution to this issue.

“We congratulate and thank Consumers of Mental Health WA Executive Director, Shauna Gaebler, for the work she has undertaken to represent all Western Australians living with a mental illness,” Heath said.

“Throughout this issue Shauna has been on the front foot, outlining the potential harm of the exhibit, lobbying for the removal of the ride.”

SANE Australia also recognised the work undertaken by WA Mental Health Commissioner Timothy Marney, WA Mental Health Minister Helen Morton and Western Australian Association for Mental Health President Alison Xamon.

“The Royal Agricultural Society of WA should be recognised for listening to the many voices representing people with a mental illness,” Heath said.

“We appreciate that there was no intention to cause harm in the staging of this attraction and we appreciate the timely decision on and action undertaken to rectify our concerns.”

Heath had previously called the ride offensive, saying it stigmatised mental illness and reinforced negative and inaccurate stereotypes.

“The depiction of people with a mental illness in this way has the potential to undo decades of work undertaken to improve community understanding and reduce the stigma, prejudice and discrimination people living with a mental illness face every day,” he said.

“SANE Australia appreciates that there was no intention to cause harm by the staging of this ‘attraction’ by the leadership of either the Perth Royal Show or Metcash but this ride has got to go.”

The Bethlem Institute was the first of its kind in Britain and was founded as a hospital in the 13th century. It was known for its cruel treatment of patients.

“As is evidenced by the many people who have contacted us so far, it is deeply offensive to people with mental health issues along with their families and friends,” Heath said.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Mental Health Forums Breaking Down Barriers to Support

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 10th October 2018 at 5:00 pm

Iconic Mental Health Organisations Merge To Reduce Stigma

Wendy Williams

Monday, 4th June 2018 at 5:11 pm

Mental Illness a Leading Cause of Disability for Australian Women

Luke Michael

Friday, 9th March 2018 at 12:43 pm

Early Intervention Needed To Reduce Youth Homelessness And Mental Illness

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 3rd August 2017 at 7:30 am

POPULAR

Report Uncovers Shocking Abuse and Neglect of Adults With Disability

Luke Michael

Monday, 5th November 2018 at 5:29 pm

Disability Advocates Call For NDIS Funding Certainty

Luke Michael

Monday, 29th October 2018 at 4:42 pm

Google Awards Millions to Groups Harnessing Technology For Change

Maggie Coggan

Friday, 2nd November 2018 at 5:50 pm

High Cost of Asylum Seeker Support Cuts Revealed

Luke Michael

Thursday, 1st November 2018 at 4:31 pm

Take Survey
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!