As mentioned yesterday, VMIAC is deeply concerned by the ABC Four Corners episode, ‘Don’t judge us’, as we know so many of you are, too.
The episode described people living with mental health distress as malingerers, violent and a danger to the community. They failed to interview a single consumer, consumer advocate or consumer peak body, and used discriminatory and stigmatizing language throughout; as well as calling out for forced treatment that is in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability.
We have demanded that ABC Four Corners speak with us further about the one-sided misconceptions they have portrayed of people living with mental illness, as well as the distress and damage they have caused to consumers watching it. We have also requested that they work with us to develop an episode that tells the truth about people living with mental and emotional distress.
We are imploring you to do the same!
If you would be interested in sharing your thoughts on this episode with ABC Four Corners, we have written the below email template for you to adapt and send to them via their complaints form, which you can find here. Please also include any ideas you have on new episode ideas that showcase the accurate portrayal of consumers, and how much consumers contribute to the community.
A community of voices has greater power than a single one!
Dear ABC Four Corners,
I am deeply concerned by an ABC Four Corners episode ‘Don’t judge us’.
The episode described people with mental health issues as malingerers, violent, and a danger to the community. The ABC failed to interview a single consumer, consumer advocate or consumer peak body.
Throughout the report there was prominent use of discriminatory and stigmatizing language, as well as calls for forced treatment that is in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability.
If consumers and consumer groups were interviewed, we would have highlighted that people diagnosed with mental health issues are much more likely to be victims of violence, and that we want radical changes to the system, not just more access to it. Unfortunately, this did not happen and consumers who watched this report were extremely distressed being portrayed in this way.
We demand that this be rectified, that our voices be listened to and the accurate portrayal of people living with mental distress be shown to the public!