StigmaWatch recently worked with an Australian theme park which was planning to launch a new a virtual reality experience that invited people to ‘step into the shoes of a mental patient being welcomed into an insane asylum’. The experience not only exposed people to terrifying and stigmatising visuals, but inaccurately depicted mental health treatment.
StigmaWatch contacted the park’s management and within 24 hours the experience, along with all advertising, was removed.
Stigma is a huge barrier to getting help for those living with untreated mental illness symptoms and often prevents people from seeking help early on, especially young people. This can lead to people only getting help when things have reached an absolute crisis point, or not getting help at all, which can have devastating consequences.