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Letter: Ramirez cartoon is offensive in mental illness depiction

Ramirez cartoon is offensive in mental illness depiction

The political cartoon printed June 5 in The News drawn by Michael Ramirez depicted the words “Mental Illness” written inside the trigger of a gun. Granted, there has been a lot of publicity about recent events involving persons with a psychiatric illness in the news.

These events are tragic and should be discussed and brought to attention. However, the cartoon makes it seem as though everyone who has a mental illness, no matter how slight, is a danger to the community. This is an outrageous statement about a large population of the United States, one that causes stigma and discrimination.

I am employed at a residential program for individuals with a psychiatric disability. In my 10 years of working here, I have seen a lot of people who are sensitive, talented artistically and musically, and also intelligent and independent.

These individuals have been through some hard experiences in their lives and suffer emotionally, and sometimes physically as well.

It is unfair to make a statement about an entire population. Has Ramirez ever worked in the mental health field? If he did, he would see so much progress and hope. Instead, he chooses to focus on a handful of people involved in recent events.

This stigma might prevent others from seeking medical treatment and counseling that would help the problem. Seeking treatment for mental illness is the first step toward a brighter future.

Cheryl Fuller

Buffalo