Letter: Help reduce stigma

June 28, 2014 

While recently reading the Tri-City Herald letters to the editor, I could understand why Mr. Thomas F. Hall supports the pubic safety tax, but I really don't like his wording in the letter. It adds to a stigma that harms people with things such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism and bipolar disorder.

First off, the majority of people with mental illness are law-abiding citizens who will not end up in the courts. Secondly, to say we are kidnapped by mental illness seems to imply that somehow I and others are less of a person than someone without autism or one of the other conditions Mr. Hall listed.

Finally, any new mental health court has to protect the civil rights of Individuals who have mental illness and are accused of a crime. I don't support the idea of conviction by the fact you might have a mental illness.

More compassion, opportunities and understanding of people with mental illness and people with autism and other conditions will go a long way in helping us to get past the stigma and have a great life.

I am for helping people without adding to a stigma that may do more harm then good. We should be fighting stigma, not adding to it.

BILL PETERS, Richland

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