Ten under fire for mocking mentally ill

Monday, February 1 2010, 08:50 GMT

By Rebecca Davies

Mental health advocates have criticised Channel Ten's new station promotion.

The adverts, which feature stars such as presenter Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Neighbours actress Margot Robbie, comedian Mikey Robbins and Shaun Micallef, have been accused of mocking the mentally ill.

In the clips, Bassingthwaighte is seen crying hysterically, Robbins rocks in his chair and Robbie mindlessly strums on a toy guitar.

A spokesperson for Lifeline told The Daily Telegraph: "They make a joke of what can be a really important process for those dealing with a mental health crisis and if it discourages even one person from seeking out this sort of help or support that is not on.''

Barbara Hocking from Sane Australia, said she was "disappointed'' in the celebrities for taking part in an advertisement which "mocked and trivialised'' mental health support groups. She said that people with mental health issues "are getting a bit sick of being the butt of jokes".

A representative for the Ten Network said that the promotion "pokes fun at Ten. Only Ten."