Whilst public attitudes to mental health problems are improving, we know how upsetting products, services and programmes which perpetuate stereotypes about mental health can be.
We understand it may not be intended to be hurtful, and we agree there is room for humour when it comes to talking about mental health. But this ‘casual stigma’ has a real impact. It can mean people are afraid to speak openly about what they’re going through, or make them wary of seeking the support they need.
We don’t have the resources to challenge every company or to comment on every article on mental health. But we encourage our supporters to take action when they see something upsetting or offensive by complaining directly to the companies concerned to share their views.
Complaints about products / services
All companies have a complaints procedure, and you can find this via their website. Usually complaints can be submitted via email or by post.
When complaining, remain polite and set out your case clearly. Explain the impact of these stereotypes on everybody living with a mental health problem. You can refer to Time To Change for more information, make sure you ask for a response and let us know you're doing it by tweeting using the #casualstigma hashtag.
Complaints about print media
If you have a complaint about coverage you have seen in a newspaper or magazine, the first step is to email or write to the editor. If they do not respond within a week or if you are not satisfied with their response, you can consider making a complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).
The Indenpend Press Standards Organisation is an independent body that deals with complaints about coverage in the printed media and their websites. The Commission produces a code of practice for print journalists setting down the standards of reporting they should adhere to. They can consider whether the media coverage in question is in breach of that code, and if so, take the complaint forward.
You will need to keep hold of a hard copy of the coverage to post to the IPSO, or provide an image of the coverage you can send via email.
Contact IPSO: Gate House, 1 Farringdon Street, London, EC4M 7LG
Tel: 0300 123 22 20
Complaints about television and radio
If you would like to make a complaint about something you've seen or heard on TV and radio, you can complain to the broadcaster directly or you can complain to the industry regulator, Ofcom. Many broadcasters will have information on how to complain on their websites. If you have seen a TV or radio programme scheduled you want to complain about that hasn't been broadcast yet, you will need to complain to the broadcaster directly, as Ofcom only deals with complaints after a programme has been aired.
Tel: 020 7981 3040 or 0300 123 3333.