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'Waked up' anti-stigma efforts only worsen mental health

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The time has come to end all forms of stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems,” said the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet. Earlier this month in a special issue on the subject.

In fact, efforts have continued for decades to prevent stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness in the criminal justice system. Consider the following cases: In 2021, New York police officers arrested 19-year-old Franklin Mesa, a schizophrenic patient, after he punched someone twice in the face. Mesa is free. Also in 2021, Martial Simon, a mentally ill homeless man, was released after serving four years in prison for armed robbery. Then, in March of this year, a Washington state judge released John Cody Hart from a local prison, despite the local prosecutor’s appeal, saying, “The community doesn’t need someone suffering from untreated mental illness other than to commit serious violent crimes without cause. ”

Simon, a Haitian immigrant, found his life turned upside down 30 years ago after the onset of mental illness in his 30s.

But in each of the above cases, what happened next is The Lancet’s the claim that stigma and discrimination are “worse than the situation itself”. Mesa allegedly stabbed 35-year-old Nathaniel Rivers to death in front of his wife in July. In January, Simon pushed 40-year-old Michelle Go onto the subway tracks, killing her instantly. And earlier this month, Hart shot the two innkeepers at close range after they clashed while stealing from other guests.

The murders of these mentally ill people undermine The Lancet’s core claim that stigma and discrimination against the mentally ill are “worse than the situation itself.” Few would argue that the situation is worse than murder.

According to The Lancet, stigma and discrimination against people suffering from mental illness is often worse than the illness itself.
According to The Lancet, stigma and discrimination against people suffering from mental illness is often worse than the illness itself.
Lancet Medical Journal

Without a doubt, people with mental illness deserve our empathy. Severe mental illness hinders people from participating in regular work or family life. However, according Journal of the American Medical Association, the mentally ill were also “significantly more likely to have a history of violence.” Drug users are the most dangerous. Hart, for example, was a temporary Army veteran and was diagnosed with schizophrenia and a marijuana use disorder after pressing his thumbs so hard on a man’s eyes that he would probably blind him for life.

Duration The Lancet report can encourage compassion, research on this is clear. “We must try to prevent the unpredictable,” says Jeffrey W. Swanson, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University. Or, as JAMA “A review of this data shows that the link between mental illness and violence is clearly relevant… this link should not be underestimated or ignored,” the researchers wrote.

Nathaniel Rivers, 35, was stabbed to death in front of his wife by 19-year-old schizophrenic Franklin Mesa, who had violent outbursts in July.
Nathaniel Rivers, 35, was stabbed to death in front of his wife by 19-year-old schizophrenic Franklin Mesa, who had violent outbursts in July.
via ABC7

But that’s exactly what The Lancet did. Why? Why? Because The Lancet just woke up. And the Lancet is not alone.

Indeed, the publication follows in the footsteps of radical left groups such as the ACLU, who decades ago fought for laws to severely restrict the ability of family members and the police to require treatment for the mentally ill. Instead of reforming psychiatric hospitals, the left shut them down. Rather than helping family members access much-needed medical care, the ACLU has fought to allow psychotic people to be left homeless on the streets who pose a danger to themselves and others.

John Cody Hart was already a veteran criminal when he killed a pair of Idaho innkeepers in early October.  Hart was also supposed to be in a mental institution but was released by a judge.
John Cody Hart was already a veteran criminal when he killed a pair of Idaho innkeepers in early October. Hart was also supposed to be in a mental institution, but was released by a judge as part of “probation”.

“I remember begging one of the hospitals to say, ‘Just let it go,'” Simon’s sister told The Post earlier this year, “because when she went out she didn’t want to take medication and it was the drugs that kept her going. ”

Stigmatized today are psychiatrists. “As a psychiatrist, I experience stigma every day,” one person said in 2016. “There is no anti-cardiology movement trying to destroy cardiology. And there is no anti-oncology movement trying to ban cancer treatment. But there is a very violent anti-psychiatry movement that claims there is no such thing as mental illness and wants to eradicate psychiatry.”

Progressive institutions like The Lancet and the ACLU are making it harder for anxious families to provide care for loved ones with mental illness at medical facilities like Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.
Progressive institutions like The Lancet and the ACLU are making it harder for anxious families to provide care for loved ones with mental illness at medical facilities like Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.
Educational Images/Universal Imagery with Getty Images

Still, it’s not like the anti-psychiatry movement that liberates “people with experience with mental health conditions” in the politically correct language of The Lancet. He simply carried them to prisons and prisons. Consider the consequences for Mesa, Simon and Hart. All of them will likely stay in jail or hospital for the criminally insane, most likely for the rest of their lives.

Today, people with mental illness are 10 times more likely to be incarcerated than hospitalized. At the same time, it is estimated that more than 120,000 mentally ill people live on the streets in the United States. In 2012, an estimated 356,000 people with serious mental illness were in prisons and state prisons at any given time, with 35,000 in public hospitals when an estimate was last made.

the subway station where Simon pushed Go to death in January;  such scenes only become more frequent if:
the subway station where Simon pushed Go to death in January; Such scenes will only become more frequent if mental illness advocates continue to “awaken” the severity of the illness.
JCRice

With The Lancet report, the anti-psychiatry movement has moved from denying the fact of mental illness to denying that there is a problem in this case. As a result, efforts to destigmatize mental illness have actually resulted in the opposite: dehumanizing both people with mental illness and their victims.

In reality, societies have long stigmatized diseases such as leprosy for pro-social, public health and safety reasons. And mental health can be one such reason. though it’s never okay to stamp people with mental illness, we should stigmatize untreated Mental illnesses that are dangerous and devastating to the people who suffer from them, and the vigilant medical practice of allowing it.

The same should be true in the criminal justice system. Judges must stigmatize mental illness and require recovery—or at least treatment—before allowing violent, mentally ill, and dependent people to be allowed back into society. Notably, none of the judges in the Mesa, Simon or Hart cases did.

The Lancet should make changes to its special issue. Because stigma and discrimination to be able to Worse than sickness, it’s true. But they are never worse than murder.

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