“Mental illness is not an excuse for bad behaviour. But we need to acknowledge that it is very often the cause of it.”
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Bryony Gordon says:
“A few years ago, when I had first plucked up the courage to write about the obsessive compulsive disorder that had plagued me since childhood, I was invited for a coffee by a high-profile figure who wanted to talk to me about the possibility of working with them on a mental health campaign they were putting together. The onus was on the word ‘health’ – when I arrived, and mentioned the term ‘mental illness’, they quickly rebuked me and said that they wanted to focus on wellness, rather than illness. ‘It scares people off,’ they explained.
‘If we want to engage people in the conversation, we need to move away from the rather Victorian notion of mentally ill people belonging in asylums. Mental health affects everyone.’
They were right, of course. Mental health does affect everyone, and mental illness scares lots of people – not least those suffering from it themselves. But while I know that this person was well-intentioned, and that their take on the mental health conversation is hardly unique, I think it’s important that we now have another conversation about the mental health conversation. For, in our rush to de-stigmatise mental health, we may have inadvertently increased the stigma faced by those who don’t actually have any mental health, and instead only have serious mental illness …”
You can read more from here.