Given the recent violence that has rocked our country, I think it’s important to address the myth and public misconception that people with mental illness are inherently violent. Unfortunately, the media plays a role in perpetuating this misconception and research from Johns Hopkins University suggests that the media’s focus on violence and mental illness actually exacerbates stigma and decreases support for people with mental illnesses.
It’s important to challenge this misconception for two reasons. First, it’s simply not an accurate representation of the facts. Second, because this misconception contributes to discrimination and stigma, which interferes with access to mental health care, especially for minorities.