I am writing this post in regards to the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. Once again, some news anchors are beating their drum that the eighteen year old who gunned down ten people and wounded three others was because of mental illness. To be blunt, “this is pure bull****”!
Many with mental illness are more likely to self-harm then to harm others. Mental illness has received a bum rap and someone in the news business needs to go to school and learn about mental illness and other mental disorders.
I Am As Mad As Hell!(quote from the movie, “Network”)
According to The Canadian Mental Health Association there are misconceptions about this issue.
Misperceptions about the relationship between mental health, mental illnesses and violence contribute significantly to stigma, discrimination and social exclusion. Studies indicate that people living with mental health conditions are no more likely to engage in violent behaviour than the general population (September, 2011)
People living with mental health conditions may experience stigma, discrimination and social exclusion that significantly impacts on their lives. Misperceptions about the relationship between mental health, mental illnesses and violence contribute significantly to these experiences. Studies have shown that people living with mental health conditions are no more likely to engage in violent behaviour than the general population. However, public perceptions, often influenced by the media, are contributing to attitudes that have a significant impact on the lives of people with mental illnesses.
Our government, both Federal, Provincial, and local need to summon up some intestinal fortitude and find funding for the Mental Health Departments. For too long Mental Health is always the first thing to have cuts to their budget when it comes to balancing the books.
From the same above website here is what is known about those dealing with mental health:
What We Know
Estimating the rate of violent behaviour by people with mental illnesses is complex, and a definitive causal relationship between violence and mental illnesses has not been established. There are challenges due to definitions, data gaps and technical issues related to the reliability, consistency and generalizability of available data.
People with mental health conditions experience stigma, discrimination and social exclusion that significantly impacts on their lives, including fears that they may be violent.
People with serious mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of violence themselves, than the general population.
Freedom from violence and discrimination promotes positive mental health and well-being.
Media reporting and portrayals contribute to public misperceptions about the relationship between violence and people with mental illnesses.
So dear reader, time and space does not permit this blogger the luxury of doing a deep dive into the fallacy of mental health illness and violence go hand in hand! I would like to hear your thoughts and I am asking all those reading this to voice your thoughts! This is where we can have a voice, let’s take advantage of it. Question, “Do you speak to people when they voice this fallacy about mental illness and violence, or do you just let it pass?
p.s – Spread the truth about this issue!