Stigma of mental health patients
SIR, – With reference to your article “Psychiatric patient freed to walk out and kill friend” (December 3) – those of us working in mental health do not “free” anyone, but “discharge” them, as we run hospitals not prisons.
The use of such language perpetuates the stigma that psychiatric hospitals are just like prisons where dangerous people should be locked up to be “freed”.
The article appears to infer that anyone “getting messages from God” (which the patient in this case apparently “warned” nurses about) must automatically be a danger to other folk.
While also presumably being offensive to many religious folk, there is, of course, no evidence to support such a direct link.
Media reporting can have a huge influence on public attitudes towards mental health.
The charity Mind has developed excellent guidelines on sensitive and responsible coverage of mental health issues.
Dr Alastair Palin, Clinical and Medical Director, Mental Health and Learning Disability Services,
Council on wrong routes for the A96
SIR, – I’ve just learned with dismay that Aberdeenshire Council is supporting the proposed north and east routes for the new A96 dual carriageway East of Huntly to Aberdeen.
These are the longest, steepest, most environmentally damaging, polluting, structurally challenging and, at approx £20 million + per mile, by far the most expensive route options and all done to resolve traffic issues north of Inverurie.
I fear the council is riding on the coat-tails of a national infrastructure project to sort out a local infrastructure problem for them and all at the Scottish taxpayers’ expense too.
Sarah Simpson, Keith Hall,
Give us more Doric instead of Gaelic
SIR, – Apparently schools in the north-east of Scotland are struggling to recruit Gaelic teachers.
This may be a reflection of the fact that very few people speak Gaelic in the area. It is, by and large, only spoken by folks living in the west coast islands.
Perhaps there should be a drive to promote the Doric language, which is spoken by many