You know, every time I hear that some idiot has gotten hold of a gun and committed unspeakable crimes I brace myself for the almost inevitable revelation that he or she was “mentally ill.”
Then, in that moment, in addition to the horror of violence, the destruction of lives, and the grieving of loved ones and communities, stigma is resurrected. All the work we all do to reduce stigma, to educate others, to prove to society that the mentally ill are not dangerous and should not be feared or discriminated against becomes moot. These unspeakable acts offer proof to society that the mentally ill ARE dangerous. That we should be feared. And we, as advocates of mental health, need to work that little bit harder once more.
The same can be said for Muslim communities. Except, unlike mental illness which is largely invisible, Muslim individuals cannot hide their faith. And, quite…
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