Let’s erase the stigma of mental illness

In the aftermath of the mass killings and injuries in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this past weekend, I've been thinking a lot about the role people with mental illness play in such events. Mental illness runs in my family. My son suffered with bipolar disorder and as a result killed himself almost twenty years ago. But none of the mentally ill people I know (or knew) are violent. My son was a gentle person - so were  my relatives - unless you characterize suicide as a violent act. I don't. I agree with his doctor who said my son had to release the pain he was in and that's why he took his own life. I'm also on the side of a study done in 2017 by MentalHealth.gov. They say: "It is a myth that people with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable." The Fact Is: "The vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%–5% of violent acts can be attributed to … [Read more...]

Thoughts about the horrific Sandy Hook massacre

Four days ago a 20-year old man took his mother's assault weapons, killed her, and then went to a local school and killed twenty children, ages 6 and 7, and six adults before he killed himself. So much has come up for me since then besides the tears. The senselessness of it, the grief of parents losing a child, the struggle of young children to get their arms around such a profound loss. Our whole country and probably the world are in mourning now, and we are all at a loss about what we can do. Right now all I can do is think and cry about it. However, as I watched Bob Schieffer'smorning talk show yesterday while I was working out, two things came up for me aside from the enormity of the numbers of guns bought and sold in our country and the senseless numbers of gun murders over 32,000 a year. It is totally clear that we have the right to bear arms. There is no way we'll be able to remove guns from our country. That said, can't there be a better way to control them. The people … [Read more...]