Piers Morgan has been on the attack again – this time against those of us speaking out on mental health and LGBT awareness issues.
The main ‘offenders’, in Piers eyes, are, what he describes as ‘celebrity victims’. Oh, and a Marks and Spencer sandwich.
Yes, believe it or not, tough-guy Piers has seemingly allowed a sandwich to ruin his entire weekend, simply because it wasn’t made for him.
It all started with a GMB discussion (or, more accurately, a deluge of over-bearing nonsense from Morgan) on mental health and social media, where Morgan seemed to be suggesting that the best way to tackle suicide was to tell people to ‘toughen up’.
Of course, when challenged on matters of mental health, Piers prefers to block accounts rather than respond – as was the case with Denise Welch and Jonny Benjamin.
We could certainly argue, therefore, that Piers is the one who needs to toughen up.
Once again, this weekend, he’s accused Denise Welch of using her mental health problems to further her career. However, Denise was already all over the press, and often vilified publicly for her struggles with drugs and alcohol, which she was using as a coping mechanism. Which is exactly what happens when you ‘toughen up’ by staying silent – something that many people sadly feel they need to do because of the stigma that is out there.
So, Denise spoke out when she was already in the public eye – making the argument about her using mental health problems to further her career null and void.
Morgan could, I suppose, argue that he used the word ‘further’ in that accusation – that yes, she was already a celebrity, and she was using this to further raise her profile.
I don’t believe that for one second. But if we did go with it as a theory, let’s look at how what Piers is doing compares. Is Piers attempting to further his career as the ultimate pantomime baddie by spouting a load of nonsense in a quest to provoke and upset people and make the headlines?
If that were to be the case on both counts, the big difference here is the impact. Both generate headlines with their names in them. But what Denise is doing helps the 1 in 4 people out there struggling with a mental health problem. Whereas, what Piers is doing, to put it bluntly, has the potential to take somebody to crisis point or perhaps even suicide itself.
So many people say we should ignore the likes of Piers Morgan or Katie Hopkins. But I wholeheartedly disagree with that. Sure, ignore the trolls with 17 followers who are trying to provoke upset and inspire ignorance. But Piers Morgan has millions of followers and a major platform on breakfast television with Good Morning Britain.
If all of us who know he’s talking bullshit ignore him, we are leaving the conversation open as a one-sided barrage of abuse that Piers is still hurling at everyone else. And it’s the people who may not already know he’s talking nonsense that are going to be most negatively impacted. The people who are perhaps struggling with a mental health problem but who have never spoken out. And they hear Piers saying that people need to toughen up, and then they feel more shame that they can’t simply ‘toughen up’. They end up in a spiral of shame, silence and worsening mental ill health. And if they can’t find a way out of that, if they can’t hear a supportive voice among the noise telling them that it is OK to seek help and speak out, they will more than likely end up at crisis point.
So please continue to speak out against him. Because whilst you might be in a good place with regards your mental health or at least the support you have around you, others may not be in the same situation. How do you choose to ignore something if you don’t know whether or not it’s real? Please do challenge him. He might not be worth it, but the people having to listen to his bullshit might be.
Oh, and on another note, it most certainly is time that GMB listened to the pain their presenter is causing. So make sure you follow @itmattersuk and @MHMediaCharter on Twitter and see what you can do.
And yep, I am writing this to get shares. Because the more people who share this, the greater the voices against the stigma are.
One final thing – go out and buy an LGBT sandwich from Marks and Spencer. Let that be to Piers Morgan what Killing in the Name Was to the X Factor Christmas number 1 ten years ago.