We shouldn't make mental illness a scapegoat for violence

Brother by LINUZ90, on FlickrCreative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  LINUZ90 

 

Great article from the New Jersey Times, posted yesterday:

If you were concerned about your personal safety, whom would you rather sit next to on the bus: someone with schizophrenia who sometimes hears voices or a football fan whose team just lost the championship? The correct answer is: We don’t have enough information, because neither schizophrenia nor liking football makes someone a safety threat.

The fact is that those in treatment for schizophrenia or any other brain disorder are no more likely to commit a violent act than anyone treated for heart disease, cancer, diabetes or acne. They are no more dangerous than anyone else, according to the MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence, published in 2001.

In fact, not only are they no more dangerous, they are more likely to be the victims of violence. So when we hear anyone proposing a national registry for those with mental illness, we should all just cringe.

We totally need more people saying stuff like this, especially in this part of the world.

Check out the rest of the very thoughtful article. When you're done, I'm curious to know: what do you think? Come back and share your thoughts in the comments below.

(Don't forget: you can sign up to get new posts right in your email.)