It pains me when we hear about a mass shooting and immediately blame mental illness. I confess I’ve done the same. Until now. Over the past year, I’ve walked with a family member through a mental health diagnosis. It’s been gut-wrenching and eye-opening.
To quote a friend who works in the health care industry, “When people talk about mental illness in derogatory terms like this, it just reinforces negative stereotypes and makes illness seem like some sort of moral failing. The majority of those with mental illness are not violent. The social stigma of mental illness is one of the reasons why people who are experiencing symptoms avoid treatment for their illness.