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The Chief Executive of a local NHS mental health and disability trust has challenged BBC Panorama over the title and content of a recent programme.

John Lawlor, Chief Executive of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, who has spoken widely about his own experience of mental illness said;

‘I am horrified that the BBC has chosen to use such stigmatising and unpleasant language in relation to people who use anti-depressants.

‘Substantial steps forward to challenge the stigma of mental ill health have been made, and linking the experience of mental health problems with violent crime only reinforces unhelpful stereotypes.  In fact people with mental ill health are far more likely to be the victim of violence, partly because of the stigma they experience.

I would like to call upon BBC panorama to apologise for the offence they have caused.

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