In the wake of the massacre in Texas, this pertinent article looks into how President Trump’s characterization of the shooting as resulting from a “mental health problem” is part of a broader tendency to demonize mental illness in the wake of tragedies. The article lays out why such an approach is both misleading and unhelpful, while also providing some helpful advice for combatting stigmatization. Read it here.
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1 thought on “How To Deal With Stigmatizing Remarks About Mental Illness”
I am an attorney in Maine who handles many mental health civil commitment cases. In the course of my many years in this field I have learned and observed that people with Axis I are more disinhibited and when they do murder it tends to be particularly heinous. Nationally only between 2% and 4% of people needing a bed in a psychiatric facility receive one. As I understand the reported facts in the Texas church case, the shooter had escaped from a mental health facility. It would appear that he did this prior to an order of involuntary commitment; hence, the federal law that prohibits those so committed from owning or possessing a firearm. Evidently, he was not later found doing a behavior occasioned by his mental illness which caused a risk of serious harm to himself or others and thus could not be taken to a facility based upon an ex parte Court order. Thus there was not a full hearing on commitment which would trigger the federal prohibition. We need a much better funded psychiatric hospital system in addition to the community services already available to a small part of the population. Hospitalization is expspensive; however, it is necessary to help people live safely in the community.