Mental health charity Mind has called on The Sun to make a long-term commitment to more sensitive reporting of mental health issues.
It follows last week’s Sun story about boxer Frank Bruno’s mental health problems, which was headlined “Bonkers Bruno Locked Up”.
It prompted a storm of complaints, prompting The Sun to change the headline in its second edition and then to launch a fund for the mentally ill with a front-page story the following day.
In an open letter to Sun editor Rebekah Wade, Mind chief executive Richard Brook said: “While Mind welcomes the prompt action on Monday evening to change Tuesday’s first edition headline, we remain concerned that there is no long-term commitment to redress the approach The Sun has to reporting mental health.
“Your paper’s prompt action to change this headline and the fund you have launched to support charitable work can only be welcomed if it is accompanied by a new commitment to report mental health issues with more empathy and sensitivity.
“Despite recent improvements, with better mental heath coverage in your health pages, your news reporting has historically been an area of grave concern and has often caused a flood of complaints into Mind.
“The Sun’s reporters have been shortlisted or awarded Mind’s Bigot of the Year Award more times than any other national newspaper.
“Only a long-term overall editorial commitment will address this. Failure to do so will suggest that the paper’s actions on Monday evening, to change the headline, were forced by embarrassment rather than representative of journalistic integrity.”
The Sun declined to comment.
By Dominic Ponsford