19 Jun 2017

Leeds Mental Health city representatives respond to concerns about The Great Escape

Health Mental health

Statement from Tom Riordan, CEO Leeds City Council; Helen Kemp, CEO Leeds Mind and Dr Sara Munro, Chief Executive Leeds and York Partnership NHS Trust following concerns raised about  an attraction at The Great Escape:

“We believe strongly that there is no place for the stigmatisation of mental health in Leeds. When we became aware The Great Escape had chosen to name one of their escape rooms ‘The Asylum’ and we saw the way it was being marketed, we offered to meet the directors of the company to explain our concerns and work out a way forward which would deal with the concerns and distress which have been caused.

“Clearly The Great Escape has invested in becoming a popular attraction and we have been keen to work with them to help them understand how they can change this element of their offer so that people do not feel stigmatised and positive mental health can be promoted.

“We would like to thank them for meeting with us, listening and taking forward the changes. We accept their assurances there had been no intention to cause harm or distress and are grateful the team have listened and taken action.

“At the meeting we held with The Great Escape on Friday we asked for clear swift action, including changing the name of the game and changing the underlying concept. We are glad they have taken this on board, and look forward to working with them to see how we can use this experience for wider benefit.”


Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, is the council's designated mental health champion.

Helen Kemp is CEO of Leeds Mind, the mental health charity.

Dr Sara Munro is Chief Executive Leeds and York Partnership NHS Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to the people of Leeds and across the Yorkshire and Humber region. 

For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team