purple berries…

headline reads, “Heading off troubling police encounters with mentally ill”

the second time in a week, a headline grabs my attention. this time mental disorders are equated to an “illness”.

tell me, are people with cancer considered ill? a heart condition? a thyroid condition? none of these conditions evoke a description of illness. why are mental disorder so often singled out as being and illness? this continues my work of education, to break down the misconception surrounding mental disorders. it is those misconceptions that cause stigmas. it is those stigmas that cause a reaction similar to a newfound compatriot. he didn’t tell his boss that his wife went into the hospital because of a mental disorder. he made up some other condition, instead.

this article appeared in the seattle times. the author continually uses the shortcut of mental illness to describe people with mental disorders.

the article discusses a new program put together by the king county sheriff’s office. this program got put in place after a rash of shootings and deaths by local police departments when dealing with people with severe mental disorders. the program keeps a of list people with mental disorders so police can be more knowledgable when coming to a situation. don’t thing big brother, here. this list is a voluntary list and used so the police can be more aware and make connections with treatment providers.

so, i’ll continue on my journey of education. i plan to contact the author and the sheriffs department, especially the officer in charge of the program to let them know of the stigma they are potentially perpetrating.

Let’s face it, i am no more ill than someone with cancer, a thyroid condition or a heart condition. this madness has to stop! an i’ll try one person at a time.

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