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The Cost of Untreated Mental Illness

Originally Published: January 26, 2017

WHY THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE IS NEWSWORTHY OUTSIDE THE CONTEXT OF MASS VIOLENCE

We now live in an age where we aren’t surprised to learn of episodes of mass violence on the evening news. It’s a growing problem in the United States and has sparked an urgent discussion over its root causes and what we can do to prevent future occurrences. Such discussions have ignited the public interest in mental health, and though mental health is a topic worthy of public discussion, to broach it in the context of violence is problematic for a couple of big reasons.

First, the correlation between mental illness and violence is a well-perpetuated myth, and to continue to think of mental health in this way is to invite stigma.