Stop the Stigma

This article is taken from the inclusive ministry newsletter known as Inroads, published by the Office of Inclusive Ministry in […]

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This article is taken from the inclusive ministry newsletter known as Inroads, published by the Office of Inclusive Ministry in the Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington in January 2001. I wonder how many of us can truly say we ?never make these judgements.?

*  I would never blame the parents or the family of a person who develops kidney disease.

*  I would never describe a person with Multiple Sclerosis as emotionally weak.

*  I have never heard a newscaster describe a violent criminal as slightly asthmatic.

*  I have never heard that a person with arthritis has diminished learning and mental capacity.

*  I have never described a person with heart disease as lazy because of the limitations of their illness.

*  I would never fear a diabetic because s/he might be contagious.

*  I would never say that a person with leukemia is to blame for his or her own illness.

*  I would never expect to attend a movie based on the antics of a person with cerebral palsy.

It is, after all, the year 2000, and we are far more knowledgeable and sophisticated than ever before. I would wager that you would never make these judgements, either. But, I live with a mental illness and all of the above have been attributed to me and others in the same situation. 

By Mary Hopkins

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