Violence and Mental Health

I used to live with a mental patient. They were dangerous, hated me with a passion – as they always told me – and spent all day, every day thinking of new ways to cause me harm. I was extremely lucky, I survived.

100,000 teenagers just like me kill themselves every single year.  

The numbers are astounding. 10% of children are suffering from a mental illness, that’s more than 1,250,000 children in the UK. Children who might either read, or might have their friends and classmates read, that they are a danger to others in this morning’s Sun, increasing risk of bullying, shame and ostracisation.

Forget about kids for a moment, over the course of a year a quarter of people will suffer from mental illness in the UK and one in six will experience a severe mental illness. That’s a lot of the people you know; work with; love; chat with at the bus stop; or maybe all of the above.

Are these people really a danger to you?

According to Time to Change 95% of murders are committed by those who have not been diagnosed with mental health problems. With the percentage of those with a mental health problem being much higher. I’m afraid to tell you that, according to these stats, the people you need to be really afraid of are the ‘sane’.

Beyond the misrepresentation and stigmatising of those suffering with mental health problems in the UK, the Sun’s crime scaremongering is entirely unnecessary, in the last five years homicides have dropped by a huge 28% and violent crime by 21%.

The only question left is, what does the Sun think it has to gain by encouraging fear of murder and violence and by increasing stigma against the mentally ill?