NTS apologies for mental asylum escape game

Crathes castle web

Escape at Crathes would have seen teams attempt to escape from a 1950s asylum, with mental health campaigners describing the idea as ill-judged

17th April 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A game which would have seen participants "escape from a mental asylum" has been scrapped after complaints from mental health campaigners.

Escape at Crathes was planned to take place at Crathes Castle, a National Trust for Scotland (NTS) property in Aberdeenshire, on 28 and 29 July.

The event was billed as allowing participants to step back in time by attempting to get out of a 1950s asylum.

The aim of the game was said to be escape "before the morning med round begins" and clues would be given through patients' notes.

However the event has been cancelled after the Mental Health Foundation complained, describing it as tasteless and ill-judged.

“The game, which was planned for Crathes, stigmatises people with mental health problems,” said the charity’s policy manager Toni Giugliano.

“There will be many people with mental health problems who are either in hospital or in care for many different reasons. It’s important we don’t stigmatise their care, treatment and recovery. This sort of event would cause distress to someone with a mental health problem and, at time when more and more people are coming forward, this kind of language may actually prevent them seeking help.”

The NTS, whose president Neil Oliver is also an ambassador for Combat Stress, apologised and said the event has been cancelled.

James Henderson, NTS operations manager for Aberdeenshire, said: “We are sorry that the scenario for this event has caused concern. We would not want to contribute to any stigma or misperceptions around mental health and have asked the event provider to alter the setting.”