End discrimination, says MIND

We are writing in response to the discriminatory views and ridiculous suggestions made by your reader Cyril from Newbury (Observer, August 22).

We weren’t even sure if this was a serious article and were quite surprised to see this in our local paper!

It is not only rude and disrespectful but also untrue to say all large people over-eat and live an unhealthy lifestyle. These kind of stereotypes are nothing but unhelpful.

As members and staff of the Midhurst MIND group we know well that the medications our members are prescribed can cause massive weight gain.

One lady who was recently prescribed lithium put on six stone in the first year. Many of the antipsychotic medications that are used these days suppress the feelings of fullness and 
can therefore cause overeating.

It is not only mental health patients who suffer from this kind of discrimination but also people on other medications such as steroids, anti-epilepsy medication and many others.

At the MIND groups we promote healthy eating, run exercise groups and take healthy living very seriously.

It would be more helpful if society could support people better to live a healthy life with understanding and care rather than insult people with ridiculous ideas of taxes, weigh bridges and social exclusion.

Midhurst MIND group staff and members