“Mental Illness and Violence” (Mental Health Matters, January), by Donna Sabella, serves as a good reminder that being mentally ill does not equate to being violent.
I interact regularly with mentally ill patients. My father runs a group home and has many adult clients under his supervision, none of whom are violent. In addition, a close friend has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Regularly, I must educate family members about her condition, because their assumptions reflect the public phobia described in this article.
I've observed this same reaction while working as a nurse. Although I've never questioned my own safety, I'm often concerned that others’ assumptions about mentally ill patients will inadvertently hurt them. These patients deserve our protection and respect, not our ill-advised judgment.
Carla Davis, RN