Dear Creators of Brimstone Haunt:
We are Strong 365, a mental health support community comprised of teens and young adults who are living (well) with psychosis and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
We get it: you’re just trying to have some Halloween fun. But calling an attraction, “Psychosis,” in which participants are invited to “surrender to the darkness and join the horror in a permanent state of psychosis,” plays into harmful societal fears about & bias against people like us, who have had to learn how to thrive despite living with psychosis. This stigma contributes to 50% of young people with #mentalhealth conditions who do not seek help today — a factor that, in turn, contributes directly to the effects of untreated mental illness, including suicide.
In short, psychosis is not a Halloween haunt.
Psychosis and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia are real, treatable brain disorders that affect 100,000 young Americans every year. The stigma that surrounds these health conditions is the #1 barrier to young people seeking help early — when treatment can be most impactful, and when the risk of #suicide, school drop out and other risks are highest.
It’s natural for people to fear what they don’t understand, which is exactly what is wrong with this attraction: it fosters ignorance. It implicitly says that it’s OK to equate mental illness with fright and gore. As a company focused on engaging and delighting its local community, we believe that Brimstone Haunt has a duty to meet its objectives while not further marginalizing people living with mental illnesses, nor encouraging those at risk to believe that psychosis is the basis of horror fiction, rather than a common brain-based condition.
We hope Brimstone will take this as a learning opportunity to learn more about psychosis at strong365.org, National Institute of Health, Child Mind Institute & Students With Schizophrenia. We also hope that you will consider immediately altering your attraction to limit the public health risk that its core message about danger, fear & violence poses to your community.
Our team & collective mental health advocacy community is standing by to help advise from the perspective of what it *really* means to live with psychosis.
Team Strong 365