Praise God for this incredibly important step toward better pastoral care for all Catholics–and all people–with mental illness. It’s very brief but completely worth the read. I hope you’ll take a moment to look it over and then meet back here to discuss it. My thanks to Deacon Greg for alerting us all to the exciting things happening in his neck of the woods. Here’s a sample….
Our society has made great strides in our understanding and treatment of mental illness. But in many cases the labels and fears remain, continuing to influence public policies related to how people access the services they need to reach their full potential in society. For example, our society continues to assume mentally ill individuals are prone to violence, either directed against themselves or others. Yet, fewer than 5 percent of violent acts are committed by people with serious mental illness. Persons with mental illness are more often victims than perpetrators of violent acts, and they also are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse.
While a small percentage of individuals with very severe and untreated mental illness may be at an elevated risk of violence, especially when substance abuse is involved, this risk diminishes significantly with medication and treatment. Still, fear of violence and the unspeakably tragic examples of mass shooting by untreated mentally individuals perpetuate a stigma that threatens public support for continued movement toward a community-based model of treatment. READ IT ALL HERE.