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Language Matters, Ken.

  November 19, 2015   

Yesterday former London Mayor, Ken Livingston, hit the headlines following some very questionable use of language.

In criticism of Shadow Defense Minister, Kevan Jones, Mr Livingston suggested he needed "psychiatric help". As reported by the BBC, "Kevan Jones - who has suffered with depression - said the comments were 'gravely offensive'". While Mr Livingston has since apologised unreservedly for his choice of words, it is another unwelcome reminder that mental health issues often carry stigma, to the point of being used as a form of belittlement.

Great With Disability founder, Helen Cooke, commented:

"Ken Livingston's decision to draw upon mental health issues as a way of attacking an individual is beyond comprehension. For as long as people continue to make such appalling remarks, progress in tackling the stigma associated with mental health conditions will be limited. The fact that someone in such a prominent a position has made such an offensive comment is absolutely outrageous. I trust the general public are more intelligent and can recognise that such behaviour should not be tolerated in today's society".