Communications News: Giving voice

Mental health charity Mind is running a newspaper ad campaign urging people with mental health problems to have their say during the pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Mental Health Bill.

It is the first time in decades that the charity has advertised in the press - it has a policy not to do so unless the stakes are really high.

The draft bill published last month was criticised by the Mental Health Alliance, a 60-strong coalition of charities, for its potential impact on the civil liberties of people with mental health problems. "It's vitally important that we dispel the media myths that tell us mental health legislation needs to be about public safety," said Adrian Thomas, the charity's head of media relations. The ad will appear throughout this week in the Daily Mirror, The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer and the Independent on Sunday.

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