I have a huge favour to ask. These signs are plastered all over my local busway, which I use everyday to and from work, and wherever else I need to get to. They’re part of a campaign the Queensland government has been inflicting on us for about a year or two, but I’ve never seen anything like this yet. Essentially it’s a tunnel of body-shaming and food-shaming, in bright yellow and black, just so you can’t possibly not notice it.
The cracker is that my busway is the Mater Busway, named after the hospital it is connected to. Putting aside how awful just having to see this is, people with various health and disability issues would use this busway to get to and from their appointments at the hospital on a regular basis. So essentially now they’re body-shaming people who already have possibly life-threatening health issues, on top of being offensive as hell.
The really important thing though, is that the Mater Hospital has one of the few eating disorders clinics for children in the state. So now they’re not even just shaming adults (and children) with all kinds of health states but also placing these giant horrible signs all over a busway which is probably used by children with eating disorders.
Think about that for a minute.
What I also want to emphasise is that I only saw this today which means the signs probably went up yesterday on the public holiday, when there would be almost nobody using the busway to comment on them. Also, it is almost certain this is not the only busway they have done this to, and most of the major busways in the inner-suburbs of Brisbane are outside of hospitals. So this probably isn’t just happening where I am, and if you find these signs around your busway, please take a photo, and reply with it posted, so we can document this.
Recently in Queensland, some genius thought it was okay to shift the focus (and funding) away from traditional eating disorder treatment clinics, and instead put people with eating disorders who end up in the public health system into mental health wards with people with all kinds of other mental health issues. That means that people trying to recover from eating disorders in a clinical setting are exposed to extremely high levels of stress if they happen to be in one of these wards, because having worked as a health employee in a place where I had to go in and out of them on a daily basis, they were bloody stressful for me, and I wasn’t even a patient. I can only imagine what it must be like for people trying to recover and avoid stress, and then maybe when they go on a day pass with friends or family and use the local busway near the hospital they’re exposed to this awful thing above.
So please reblog this. Spread the word. And please send a complaint about it to Queensland Health via this Contact page on the campaign’s website (WARNING: SITE IS AWFUL, AND POTENTIALLY TRIGGERING) if you feel up to it. You don’t have to, but it would be cool if you did, and also please link to the Mater Children’s Eating Disorder’s clinic in the complaint, so the focus is on something that might actually get through to these people. And please be polite.
Mostly. And don’t troll. Please. Don’t troll.
There’s not a lot I can do about the awfulness of living in Queensland at the moment, but if maybe I can get these signs taken out of the visual environment of a child with an eating disorder, my state will suck a little bit less.