A witch is a halloween costume, a mental ilness isn't.

As a society, we have made a great deal of progress in challenging the myths and negative attitudes that surround mental illness. 

Yet each year at Halloween, we’re confronted with the scale of work that lies ahead. Mental illness becomes a gimmick used to sell ‘psycho’ costumes or tickets to ‘asylum-themed’ events.

These gimmicks are based on outdated and false beliefs about mental illness. Most people with mental health problems live ‘normal’ lives – they are our colleagues, our friends and our family. People with mental health problems are more likely to be the victims of violence than perpetrators.

The association of mental health with horror can cause real harm: it fuels the judgement of people with mental health problems, leaves those of us affected feeling more isolated, and makes it harder to reach out for help.

This Halloween, we want to see everyone getting involved. Here’s what you can do:

  • Speak out If you come across offensive adverts or products in the media, at events or on the High Street. We’ve got some handy tips on how to do this.
  • Share the Time to Change quiz with colleagues, friends & family. Our quiz is designed to challenge people’s assumptions about mental health problems, and might counteract some of those negative stereotypes.
  • Read & share our tips for a stigma-free Halloween

To request a quote or interview with a Time to Change spokesperson, please contact Ellie Stone on 0208 215 2389 / e.stone@time-to-change.org.uk or Jessica Rudd on 0208 215 2341 / j.rudd@time-to-change.org.uk