Mental illness stigma perpetuated by mainstream media

Episodes involving mentally ill individuals should be reported in context

Re: Mental illness costs sizeable (Our View, Jan. 23)

This kind of incendiary content is at the heart of the problem when it comes to the scandalous underfunding of mental health services.

“Political will” to start properly funding a “broader spectrum of care for those battling mental illness” is totally dependent on citizen engagement and pressure on governments to act.

After reading about mentally ill individuals involved in “serious attacks on others and even murder,” “murdering” mom, “incidents of violence” and “stabbing an innocent boy,” no sane person will call their MLA to demand increased funding to help these villains.

Our media is largely to blame for perpetuating the harmful and destructive myth that mental illness equals violence. These false beliefs are at the core of the terrible stigma about mental illness that keeps communities stuck in ignorance. This demonization of the mentally ill thwarts any progressive movement to get better funding, programs and services for people afflicted with debilitating illnesses.

The media must take a more reasoned and informed role in reporting about mental illness. The facts cannot be disputed: the vast majority of incidents of violent behaviour are not committed by people who are mentally ill. And the very low percentage of people who do commit violent acts is exactly the same in the mentally ill population as in the general population, two per cent.

I would love to see more stories about the many talented, amazing people with mental illnesses who are giving so much to this community. They are the rule, not the exception.

Doreen Marion Gee

Victoria

Just Posted

Flurry of Yuletide activities coming to Sidney

Sidney Business Improvement Area Society and members organize festive events

Russell Books marks opening of new location by setting Guinness World Record

Store stacks world record books more than six metres high

PHOTOS: 11th annual Gingerbread Showcase comes to Victoria

Bakers spent more than 100 hours perfecting their creations

Time is ticking for Victoria school relocation

Beausoleil school hopes a one year extension is enough time to find a new home

Petition calls on province to cover transfer fees after Island adoption centre closes – again

‘Choices clients weren’t told the ship was sinking,’ says would-be parent

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

Most Read