Chamali Fernando, a Conservative (Tory) Party candidate, is in hot water after suggesting that mentally ill people wear wristbands in order to be identified by mental health experts and police.
Fernando made the comments on Monday in Cambridge, England. Her suggestion was criticized by members of the opposing Labor Party, including UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
A Change.org petition calling for Fernando to end her campaign states, "This kind of thinking has no place in modern society and especially not in someone who is hoping to be elected as an MP."
The Cambridge News quotes Fernando as saying:
I would like to see more training for legal professionals and police officers. Maybe it's something as simple as there are certain conditions which are more common, where people can wear a wristband to identify they have that condition, so that then we can perhaps, not diagnose, but spot it earlier and ensure that we deal with it.
There are a variety of measures that we need to look at. Of course we need to work together – there are going to be people with much better ideas, and we want to hear those ideas as to how we can spot and help those with mental health issues, and perhaps train up our teachers in schools as well to stop the issue from occurring.
The Independent adds, "She did not say the mentally ill should be forced to wear wristbands – but she thinks it would be helpful if they did."
However, UK blogger Richard Taylor tweeted, "Wristbands for those with mental health conditions has to be craziest policy I’ve heard - from @whereis007."
In response, Fernando tweeted, "Richard Taylor is distorting commentary for his self publicity purposes."
“This proposal shows the candidate’s harmful views on mental health,” Annabel Crowley, a Disability and Mental Health Adviser at University of the Arts London, told RT.com
Sources: Cambridge News, The Independent, Twitter 1, Twitter 2, RT.com, Change.org
Image Credit: Marcus Quigmire