Let's Stamp Out Stigma

April 17, 2015 8:07 PM

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High profile, gruesome incidents, like the March 24, 2015 crash of the Germanwing jet into the French Alps, naturally invite questions about the mental state of the perpetrator, Andreas Lubitz. In addition, the event may increase fear of people who suffer from mental disorders. My concern is that these incidents offer the opportunity to stigmatize and/or scapegoat those who acknowledge and seek help for psychological conflicts.

Dr. James L. Knoll, the Director of Forensic Psychiatry at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, echoes my concern. "People want an easily graspable handle to help understand this, to blame something or scapegoat," Dr. Knoll said (Erica Goode, The New York Times, April 6, 2015...

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