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


Just Posted

Teenager target of indecent exposure at Willows Beach in Oak Bay

Suspect exposed his genitals to a teenage girl Saturday

Guests don’t lament, Celtic song, Irish dinner

A sea of green shamrocks shone on the Monterey Centre’s Saint Patrick’s… Continue reading

Tonight: Committee of the Whole meeting

Municipal Finance Authority, Cadboro Bay Road Bike Lanes, Asset Management

Two puppies snatched from East Sooke home

Anyone with information asked to contact Sooke RCMP

Saanich teen helps save three people from the Gorge

53-year-old male who was submerged is expected to recover

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

America’s Musical Journey premieres at the IMAX

Enter to win tickets to an invite only concert at your community newspaper’s Facebook page

Comox Valley Valley lotto ticket worth $2 million

Someone who purchased a lottery ticket in the Comox Valley was chanelling… Continue reading

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Man dies in crash on Island Highway

Man thrown from his vehicle, alcohol believed to be a factor in accident near Parksville

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries