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Old 01-04-2012, 02:25 PM
76 posts, read 240,473 times
Reputation: 37


The state has a special "Governor's Council on Mental Health Stigma" and many sites encouraging people not to stigmatize those with mental health problems., e.g.,

One notes

"The discrimination that is associated with mental health stigma presents a myriad of challenges for those living with mental illness...Because of misconceptions and falsehoods, non-violent symptom-related behavior can lead to unfair incarceration. Furthermore, the lack of parity in health care results in inadequate access to health insurance benefits"

But even if you have recovered from a mental illness (and the vast majority of the mentally ill suffer from depression, eating disorders, phobias, etc.) if you have ever been treated in a hospital (even voluntarily) the state enters your name in a database that is checked for many reasons and will bar you from buying a gun, getting certain jobs, getting insurance, etc. To have your name removed from the database, you must go through a complicated, expensive legal process (CHAPTER 183 P.L.1953 C.30:4-80.8). This will discourage someone with a mental illness from seeking treatment.

The entry into a database may conform to federal law, but the state can enact the procedure for removal. BTW, the vast majority of those who are treated for mental illness are no more violent or dangerous than anyone else. In fact, they are more likely to be the targets than the perpetrators of violence. An extensive study reported in Psychiatric News said "People with mental illness were eight times more likely to be robbed, 15 times more likely to be assaulted, and 23 times more likely to be raped than was the general population. Theft of property from persons, rare in the general population at 0.2 percent, happens to 21 percent of mentally ill persons, or 140 times as often."

"The direction of causality is the reverse of common belief: persons who are seriously mentally ill are far more likely to be the victims of violence than its initiators," said Leon Eisenberg, M.D., professor emeritus of social medicine and health policy at Harvard Medical School, in an accompanying editorial. "The evidence produced by Linda Teplin et al. settles the matter beyond question."
--Aaron Levin, People With Mental Illness More Often Crime Victims, Psychiatric News September 2, 2005
Volume 40 Number 17 Page 16
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