On October 8 Brisbane’s Courier Mail
led its report on a tragic murder-suicide with a totally inappropriate and stigmatising front page.
Several readers contacted SANE StigmaWatch claiming the reference to 'psycho' was highly offensive and inappropriately linked mental illness to violence.
In response SANE CEO Jack Heath wrote to Courier Mail
editor pointing out that the use of the term 'psycho' was inappropriate and its use may reinforces community misconceptions that people with a mental illness are inherently dangerous.
'On the contrary, research indicates that people living with a mental illness are more likely to be the victim of violence rather than the perpetrator,’ Heath explained.
The Courier Mail
invited Heath to submit a column to highlight the impact that many people with mental illness face from stigma and discrimination, often on a daily basis.