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Reader's View: Unacceptable to stigmatize mental illness

The mentally ill shouldn't be stigmatized every time there is a mass shooting, as two Duluth mental health professionals said in the Nov. 7 News Tribune story, "Mental health stereotype disputed." The story followed the mass shooting at a church in Texas.

Stating "'the' mentally ill," as the first sentence of the story did, is equivalent in form to referring to "the" blacks. Neither is acceptable.

Suggesting the "stigmatizing" of mental illnesses, as the story did, is the equivalent of suggesting the "stigmatizing" of rape. Neither is acceptable. That there are people who say there is a stigma to mental illnesses doesn't equal that there is. It does equal that there are people who say that. And, yes, even people in mental health professions who ought know better sometimes say that.

We can comply with such beliefs or not; it is up to us.

It is better to educate than to have those who say such things educate us.

Harold A. Maio

Fort Myers, Fla.

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