Having a mental illness doesn’t mean that a person has any less ability to reason than the next person. It doesn’t mean they’re any less able to know when wrong is done. It doesn’t mean they cannot feel the pain when they are being mistreated. And it doesn’t mean that the truth about that mistreatment can’t be in them because they’re not in touch with reality.

All of the above show the wrong impressions harboured by many about what mental illness is and how it impacts people. These false impressions have fed into the damaging discrimination that’s rampant in our world and touches so many lives. People with mental illness are not as different as they’re assumed to be.

The truth is, they’re being hurt. There’s no denying it. And it matters.

When complaints are made against a person who has mistreated the person with mental illness, the person who is hurt seldom has her word accepted. After all, she has a mental illness and the person who hurt her is a well person.

But she deserves to have justice done, just like any other human being deserves to have justice. And justice means that a person needs to have their case seriously listened to and heard. Too often she is given the blame, further consideration not thought important. Her complaints are ignored.

Although many might argue that things are fine, the truth is that there is wide-spread stigma and discrimination attached to mental illness. This discrimination is accepted by the masses, and says it’s ok when justice isn’t done. The people who are affected are—through many eyes—not considered important anyway.

The injustices dealt out to people because of the illness they live with is of enormous proportions. A normal life isn’t possible when they’re made to feel less than human.

If this world considers itself a just society, such injustice should be brought to an end.

marja