Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
A danger to society?
Posted by Letters editor
Keeping prejudice alive
I was horrified to see the language in The Seattle Times article “Woman blinded in attack to get $5.5 million” [NWFriday, Oct. 9], which brings to mind the completely inaccurate Hollywood slasher movie images of schizophrenics as knife-wielding assailants who randomly attack strangers.
Research on the impact of sensational news coverage, like this of these exceedingly rare, random assaults by persons who have a mental illness, shows it creates an immediate, measurable surge of fear and discrimination against all people who have a mental illness.
Research also shows the vast majority of people who have a treatable medical disorder, like schizophrenia, never commit violent crimes and go on to become contributing members of our community.
Why is there no mention in the article of Community Psychiatric Clinic’s admirable record of helping thousands of people who have schizophrenia to recover? Why is there no mention that most people who have schizophrenia don’t commit violent acts?
Coverage like this leads to stigma toward all people who have mental illnesses, handicapping their ability to find employment or housing, and go on to recover.
— Perry Wien, Seattle
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