xoJane: For the Last Time, Stop Conflating Violence and Mental Illness

Mentally ill people need more than a band-aid solution thought up in a hurry in a reactive response to a horrible act committed by someone who may or may not have had a mental illness. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see people taking an interest in mental health policy, but I am disappointed in how misplaced it is at the moment. If we want genuine mental health reform, we need to be covering it all the time, not just when we’re looking for a convenient scapegoat. News coverage of mental health issues is virtually nonexistent, and what coverage there is tends to be very poor.

By all means, let’s improve mental health services in the US. Please. We desperately need it.

But if you want to talk about how to prevent rampage violence, I’m afraid you’re going to need to move on to other subjects. Subjects like gun control. Like sexism and misogyny. Like how we talk about masculinity. Like how we model social behaviors. Like how we interact with each other as human beings.