Saturday, March 11, 2006

Churchill sculpture sparks uproar

From the beeb:

"A mental health charity has defended a statue it commissioned of Sir Winston Churchill in a straitjacket.

The statue has been criticised as "absurd and pathetic" by his grandson, Tory MP Nicholas Soames.

Charity Rethink commissioned the 9ft high sculpture, unveiled in Norwich, to highlight the stigma of mental health.

Rethink said the image of Churchill - who suffered bouts of depression - was designed to "portray a more positive image of people with mental illness"."
It's difficult to think of ways to symbolise mental illness with anything other than a strait-jacket but one can't help wishing they'd found some other way of making the same point because despite their undoubtedly good intentions, haven't Rethink inadvertently reinforced the stereotype of mental illness as something that always and everywhere puts an individual over the edge to the extent that they need restraint from harming themselves and others?

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