UPDATE: Ciarnan Helferty has now referred himself to Amnesty UK internal standards procedures. Full story here.
The chair of Britain’s number-one human rights organisation has made a string of mental health jokes on social media, Political Scrapbook can reveal. Despite Amnesty International’s stance on mental health stigma, the chair of its UK board Ciarnan Helferty has filled his Twitter feed with off-colour gags about schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder:
It’s not as though mental health isn’t on the human rights radar, as Amnesty UK’s own website reports:
“Too often, prejudice and stigma hamper the development of mental health policies, and are reflected in poor services, low status for care providers and a lack of human rights for mentally ill people.”
One wonders what his colleagues in the Republic of Ireland — who are running a campaign on mental health discrimination — make of Helferty’s “humour”, not to mention his employers at the British Medical Association.
The childish manner in which Helferty comports himself on social media all the more galling given his responsibilities for the stewardship of Amnesty International UK during a controversial restructuring which has seen jobs and budgets slashed.
Time for some of that “accountability” he mentioned.