We have heard from disabled people that they are being stopped while going about their business and being questioned about whether they’re following the correct social distancing rules. Social distancing as a mad/neurodivergent person or a person with a chronic illness might look different to the general public. Some examples have included:
‘Why are you out shopping with a friend?’ (was actually their carer)
‘Why are you out exercising more than once a day?’ (perfectly reasonable if there’s a medical need)
‘Why are you on this bus?’ (essential journeys include those for medical need)
We already have these template letters that your health professional can fill in to support you take up the right to exercise more than once a day if this maintains your health. But we decided that some communication cards might also be needed for situations where you are approached by people and questioned. Obviously, we shouldn’t have to do this and these cards are not a requirement for going out – you don’t owe anyone an explanation! – but we know having a card that explains your situation and politely tells the person to go away, can be easier than ignoring or having to ‘defend’ yourself verbally over and over again. We hope it’s also a way to shut down the conversation.
There are 5 cards, each with a slightly different situation you might be facing. They can be printed off and kept in a wallet or on a lanyard, keyring – wherever! Feel free to choose the one that fits best, or print off a few! If you can think of something major we’ve missed, please get in touch.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog, please consider donating to our Hardship Fund for people with a mental health condition who are in financial need during COVID19. Mad Covid is an entirely unfunded group.
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