Note: Although this aired awhile ago, I think that people should be aware of how Bill O’Reilly views people with mental illness. It is because of his opinion and the potential of influencing his viewers, that we have a problem with the mental health system care. People like O’Reilly need to do their research, get to know someone who fights a mental illness every day and then feel ok to say the things he said. I guarantee he would think twice about it. If he has a heart at all, I would hope that he would reconsider what he said was wrong and would figure out that by doing this, he made things not only for those with mental illness, but our whole society. Who would go get help after hearing this?
In reference to the episode involving Miriam Carey who used her car as a weapon in Washington DC, Bill O’Reilly says it is Another Violent Episode Making America Look Bad. Miriam suffered from postpartum depression with psychosis. I guess he thinks he has all the answers when it comes to mental illness.
This narrow-minded kind of thinking is part of the problem. People with influence, like Bill O’Reilly, could do so much to help people with mental illnesses.
Instead, they add to the stigma and prevents people from getting the help they need.
If you think that O’Reilly’s comments were appalling, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!
He or his crew may never read it, but you can try. Maybe if enough of us attempt to contact him with the same kind of message he will hear our voices.
The email I wrote:
Dear Mr. O’Reilly.
This is a Letter to the Editor I wrote that was published in the Winston Salem Journal. (Link below)
I cringe every time I hear that there has been a mass shooting because I anticipate the media coming to the conclusion that it’s because the person had a mental illness that they committed the crime.
Instead of using these tragedies to educate people about mental illnesses, the media adds to the stigma. Most people with a mental illness are not violent. In fact, people with mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of crimes.
The media needs to stop misleading the public! They need to let people know where the resources are if they need help, that there is hope and they can recover. Several successful people throughout history have had a mental illness. Not everyone who suffers from a mental illness shoots people.
Many things regarding mental health need to change, including how they handle these stories. They are scaring people away from getting help. By doing this they are part of the problem.
Will someone get help if they fear that others will think they are going to shoot people?
The media should cover stories about people with mental illnesses who fight the battle every day and are winning. People with mental illnesses have feelings, goals, dreams, families, friends, co-workers, ambition and talents. They just have a chemical imbalance in their brain. The great majority of them are not violent. ~Michelle Hughes Winston Salem