Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Editorials / Opinion


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor

Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words opinion@seattletimes.com.

E-mail| RSS feeds Subscribe | Blog Home

February 7, 2009 10:37 AM

Mental illness

Posted by Letters editor

Counteracting unfair stigma about violent behavior

Thank you for publishing the latest findings in the Archives of General Psychiatry demonstrating that people with a serious mental illness, without other big risk factors, are no more violent than people without a mental illness ["Study says mental illness alone is no trigger for violence," Health and Family, Feb. 2].

This study is not the first to reach this conclusion, but the findings need repeating. Public opinion surveys demonstrate convincingly that the wildly inaccurate perception that people with mental illness are likely to commit violent acts does in fact exist.

This attitude underlies widespread stigma and discrimination experienced by people with a mental illness, impacting their ability to gain access to basic needs such as housing and employment. The near-monolithic reporting of news events involving people with mental illnesses, such as the Virginia Tech shootings or the Skagit Valley massacre in Washington state, helps to perpetuate inaccurate public perceptions and drives public policy.

As often as possible, it is important to counteract such portrayals by providing a broader context of violent behavior.

If we could only read more news stories that reflect accurately the promise of mental-health treatments and marked improvement for the vast majority of people living with mental illnesses, then we could really make progress in counteracting unfair stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental illnesses.

-- Jennifer Stuber, Ph.D., Seattle

Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

Advertising

Marketplace

Convertible buyers have money and smarts; BMW touts i8 in D.C.new
(Thinkstock) Convertible buyers richer, more educated Convertible car buyers tend to be affluent and educated, according to Experian Automotive, an in...
Post a comment

Advertising

Advertising

Categories
Calendar

May

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            
Browse the archives

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008