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USM's Goldenberg and students ask media to stop stigmatizing mental illness

University of Southern Maine Nursing Lecturer Marcia Goldenberg and eight students penned an op/ed column in the Portland Press Herald, asking the media to stop making broad connections between people with mental illnesses and violence.

Goldenberg and the students — Brent Chandler, Marta Conant, Jacqueline Cormier, John Durham, Levi Krajewski, Jenna Libby, Nick Tolbert and Kate Wypyski — said that such connections are both inaccurate and unfairly stigmatize one in five Americans.

As student nurses and working nurses, we have a unique opportunity to see people living every facet of the human condition, and we are hoping that we can destigmatize through our care, but we are only part of the equation. The media have a responsibility to present accurate information about mental health diagnoses to foster understanding, reduce ignorance and minimize fear by explaining the unknown, rather than further deepening it.

The Portland Press Herald column was titled, Maine Voices: Media mislead, stigmatize by broadly linking mental illness to violence.”