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People With MH Conditions Should Wear Wristbands Says Tory Candidate

April 14, 2015

A Tory parliamentary candidate has sparked outrage after claiming mental health patients should wear wristbands to identify their conditions.

Cambridge candidate Chamali Fernando was speaking at a hustings event hosted by the campaign group Keep Our NHS Public when she made the comment.

She said wearing wristbands indicating the nature of the person’s condition would be helpful to professionals as they often could not explain themselves.

The statement was confirmed by Julian Huppert, current MP for Cambridge, who said: “I think it was also a spur of the moment thing rather than a prepared policy.”

Chamali explained those working in industries such as the legal profession could identify individuals based on wristband colour and this would place them a better position to help.

Political blogger Richard Taylor tweeted from the event and questioned if Chamali, who uses the Twitter handle @whereis007, was voicing her own opinion.

He wrote: “I wonder if wristbands for those with mental health problems is a Conservative policy or just @whereis007’s ?”

Speaking afterwards, he said: “She said as a barrister she would like to be able to help mentally ill people and suggested there should be more training for people in these kind of positions in common mental health conditions.

“She then said suggested a different coloured wristband for each mental health condition for those who are unable to communicate their conditions.

“This would immediately cause others to be prejudiced towards someone because you’ve given them a colour coding.

“She shouldn’t be coming up with a new policy at the spur of the moment.

“If she’s coming up with a new policy like this at a hustings what she do when she’s standing in parliament?”

The candidates present were Chamali Fernando (Conservative Party), Julian Huppert (Liberal Democrats), Rupert Read (Green Party), and Daniel Zeichner (Labour Party).

A Tory spokesperson said: “It is unfortunate that Richard Taylor has completely distorted the comment.

“The question that was asked is how could the authorities such as the police better deal with people with mental health issues.

“At Cambridge National Autistic Hustings the Chairman of CNAS said he carries a green card in his wallet to identify his condition.

“Julian Huppert was the person to bring up the Green Card Issue at the Autism Hustings.

“There are people who have come into contact with the police and due to an underlying mental health condition are unable to communicate their condition.

“It was not that they should wear a wristband. That would be draconian, needless to say it would seem that Richard Taylor is seeking to grab a headline here.

“Chamali Fernando gave the example of how people are wrongly accused of obstructing the course of justice for failure to co-operate with the police through no fault of their own and in those instances an identifier could prove useful.

“It would be a matter of individual choice and through consultation with experts and would need to be accompanied with the requisite training for health care and law enforcement professionals.”

Julian Huppert added: “I was really shocked at the suggestion that people with mental health problems should be expected to wear wristbands to identify themselves.

“I have fought hard for many years against the stigma people with mental health problems face. There is already far too much discrimination against mental health throughout our society, and a wristband saying ‘I am depressed’ is not going to help.

“We need to massively improve mental health support, which has been not good enough for many decades.

“I hope Chamali regrets her comments and will think carefully about her attitude to mental illness in the future.”

9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2015 3:11 pm

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  2. Kenny permalink
    April 14, 2015 4:30 pm

    Change the title to “Tory Minister advocates people with Mental Health problems should carry a Government Health Warning”. Sick, sick sicko’s.

  3. The Infamous Culex permalink
    April 14, 2015 4:30 pm

    And so it starts, all over again.

    At least, people with mental health problems will not be forced into the stigma of having to wear yellow stars on their clothing, and Aktion T4 has not (yet) been apparently suggested, but stigmatisation of any part of the populace can lead down that same, evil path.

    • Kenny permalink
      April 14, 2015 4:36 pm

      But you are wrong!! The Tory manifesto says that they will be subject to one of their cures. Along with alcoholics and the obese!!

      • The Infamous Culex permalink
        April 14, 2015 6:06 pm

        And if a cure is impossible?

      • Kenny permalink
        April 14, 2015 6:21 pm

        No no, they have miracle cures, introduced by Atos. I’ve suffered MH problems for 15 years and health professionals haven’t found a cure yet!! Looking forward to the distance counselling I would receive by phone or internet from a 12 week trained ‘expert’.

  4. Julie permalink
    April 14, 2015 7:05 pm

    Perhaps he would like all people on benefits to wear a star on their arm. Now where have I heard of that before…………?!

  5. April 14, 2015 11:25 pm

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  6. April 15, 2015 4:41 pm

    Come on let’s waste taxpayers’ money on multi coloured wrist bands and not effective help for those with mental health issues.

    The common cause in life for mental health includes workplace stress, and that is neither understood by your boss or by medical professionals, so cannot be defined in law.

    Workplace stress overloads and move into the amnesia of Burn out Stress, or through psychiatric stress injury (pre mental health but severe stress symptom) into such as Clinical Depression, with the danger there of suicide.

    I wander about Human Resources / Personnel forums and know more than than HR professions, managers and private business owners, after a lifetime in work.


    Yes indeed the Nazis did collect the mentally ill out of institutions and take take away to be individually gassed in gas vans or to death clinics, where left to starve.

    We do the same to the poor mentally ill, by sanctioning them into starvation.



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