Petition calls for Thorpe Park ‘Asylum maze’ name change

A petition calling for a Halloween maze named  ‘Asylum’ to be renamed is to be delivered to the attraction after collecting 5,800 signatures.

The Asylum maze has been part of Thorpe Park’s annual Fright Nights for 8 years.

Student mental health nurse Ms Katie Sutton, who started the petition, believes the attraction is stigmatising the mentally ill.

Ms Sutton comments, “It’s time we all took a stand against this sort of lazy and damaging stereotyping. It’s completely irresponsible that a brand as high profile as Thorpe Park would link mental illness with this kind of outdated nonsense”.

Thorpe Park, in a statement, said, “It is not intended, nor is it deemed to be by those who have actually experienced it, to be in any way offensive or to be a realistic portrayal of mental health or indeed any other institution”.

Paul Jenkins, chief executive of Rethink Mental Illness said, “While of course there is nothing wrong with a bit of Halloween fun, explicit references to ‘patients’ crosses a line and reinforces damaging stereotypes about mental illness.”

Written by Victoria Silsbury, a member of Swain & Co.’s mental health team in Southampton.