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Theme park keeps 'crazy' ride despite protest

An Ohio amusement park reportedly won't change Halloween attractions such as "Dr. D. Mented's Asylum for the Criminally Insane" despite protests by mental health advocates.
/ Source: staff and news service reports

An Ohio amusement park won't change Halloween attractions called "Dr. D. Mented's Asylum for the Criminally Insane" and "The Edge of Madness: Still Crazy" despite protests by mental health advocates, according to a report.

The Sandusky Register reported that Cedar Point spokesman Robin Innes said Monday that the park reviewed concerns of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and determined no changes were needed.

The group asked the park last week to drop the attractions, saying they promoted false stereotypes about mental illness.

Innes disagreed, the Register reported.

"The attractions at HalloWeekends are not the real world and our guests know that," Innes told the paper. "Our attractions are not designed to depict reality."

The Ohio chapter of the mental health group told the Register that Cedar Point was a "callous organization."

"NAMI Ohio is sad that Cedar Point has rejected our plea," Terry Russell, the alliance's executive director, was quoted as saying. "(But) we will not take any further action in regards to Cedar Point. Our energies must be expended in advocating for treatment services that are currently not available."

In its initial complaint to Cedar Point, the alliance had said that the names of the attractions would help strengthen stigma about people with mental health problems.

"Mental illnesses are biological brain disorders, they are diseases," it said in a letter, according to the Register. "Would Cedar Point ever even consider developing a display or attraction that used cancer patients as a means of instilling fear in their guests? We think not. And why is this? Because cancer is a serious disease.

"We would never want to paint individuals with this terrible disease in an unfavorable light," it added. "Why then do you feel that it is acceptable to paint individuals suffering from biological brain disorders in an unfavorable light?"