Dear York Press

Below is a copy of a letter sent to York Press regarding a letter published in their letter section. It was emailed to newsdesk@thepress.co.uk. If you feel strongly about this issue, I would encourage you to write to them yourself. Feel free to use the below as a template letter. – Z

Dear York Press,

I write with regards to a letter published in your letter section on Friday 19th July 2013. In it the writer, Ken Holmes, details apparent statistics that mental illness will affect 1/10 people in this country. Aside from this statistic being incorrect – actual estimates put the number somewhere between 1/4 and 1/6 – he then goes on to infer that this means that approximately 65 MPs are suffering from some form of mental illness. This is where the problem lies. The implication that he seems to be making is that suffering from a mental illness would in some way (unspecified) make a person unable to perform the duties of office as an MP and help run the country. He provides no evidence for this assertion and so one can only assume that this conclusion is based on pure prejudice against those with mental illnesses.  In fact, many people with mental illnesses are highly successful and perfectly capable of running homes, lives, businesses, and, indeed, the country. Prejudice against those with mental illnesses still runs rampant in this country, despite the best efforts of mental health activists seeking to humanise and de-stigmatise those with mental illnesses. You have done nothing to assist these efforts and have in fact chosen to publish something that simply furthers bigotry and prejudice. This is an awful shame.

It is hugely disappointing that you felt this was an appropriate letter to publish. I hope that you will do something to rectify this situation as soon as possible.

Best,

Zoe

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