LTE for LA Times – too many ‘Demons’

from: Mental Health Association
reply-to: info@mentalhealthportland.org
to: letters@latimes.com, sue.horton@latimes.com, horseylatimes@gmail.com
date: Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 7:22 AM
subject: response to – Robin Williams’ ‘spark of madness’ let him soar above his demons

Editors.

The headline “Robin Williams’ ‘spark of madness’ let him soar above his demons” in your August 13, 2014 opinion editorial is a disservice to our community and adds to the stigma of mental illness – ironically the subject of the article.

Mental illness is not caused by demons and it’s symptoms should not be compared to demons.

Your thoughtless and hurtful headline may have been read by persons with mental illness, their friends and family members, and the people who care for them. There’s no argument the use of “demon” is just or accurate. Comparisons to demons further stigmatizes mental illness, creating a barrier to treatment and wellness.

We’ve attached our media guide Media Guide: Your Language Matters When Writing About Mental Illness (PDF) to this email. Please download, read and distribute this brief guide to your staff before publishing again about mental illness.

Board members, Mental Health Association of Portland