March 21, 2019
White hate bad not mad
The Mental Health Foundation is rejecting suggestions the Christchurch mosque shooter was mentally unwell.
Chief executive Shaun Robinson says white extremism is not a mental illness.
He says mental illness is used by the gun lobby in the United States to avoid gun law reform.
It ignores the white supremacist racism that seems to have driven the terror attack and it stigmatises people with mental illness.
"That kind of stigma, it's a bit like racism, it's very pervasive in society, the sense of fearing mental illness, fearing people who are struggling with their mental health and associating it with acts of violence and crime. That just builds that sense of people being ashamed, people being discriminated against whether it be in work or housing or socially isolated," Mr Robinson says.
He says people struggling with mental health issues are much more likely to be victims of violent crime than be perpetrators.
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