That is, unless you live in Gilbert, Arizona, where residents of a neighborhood across the street from a planned mental health facility are up-in-arms about the proposed hospital.
“I think we all know the reality of the situation,” said one concerned resident.
“We have police reports from other [...] locations where paranoid schizophrenics are able to escape and they have suicidal and homicidal thoughts. These are not people who should be running close to a neighborhood,” said another unidentified resident.
Yes, because as we all know, mentally-ill people are more prone to violence. And we definitely want the government to intercede and protect us from people who have improper thoughts.
But the ignorance of these concerned residents doesn’t stop there:
“Our concern is that we could have a rogue patient. The hospital loses track of a patient. And then we will have issues. It puts our community, our families and our children in danger,” says neighbor Tony Lube.
How, exactly, does it put your family in danger, Tony? Since when is a hospital for mental illness the equivalent of a prison, where you have “rogue” patients who I can only assume “get loose” and want to immediately cause harm to others??
It seems some residents of Gilbert, Arizona have been watching too many Hollywood horror flicks.
Of course if the proposed facility was a rehabilitation hospital for people with physical injuries, or a regular medical hospital, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. The neighbors would likely welcome such convenient access to such care.
But because it is to treat mental illness — apparently something this neighborhood is completely free of, despite the NIMH’s finding that 1 in 4 Americans suffer from a mental illness — the residents feel perfectly free to brazenly display their ignorance-based prejudice and discrimination against an entire group of people. “But think of the children and their safety!” they cry.
I’ll tell you what I’m thinking of — how sad and shameful it is that these residents represent Arizonians. Where they would let their unfounded fears trump simple human decency, compassion and respect for their neighbors (yes, the people in the hospital would be others from the local community). People with mental illness have a disorder that can be treated, and this facility will do exactly that.
Read and view the story: Residents opposed to mental health facility speak out and Gilbert residents not pleased about proposed mental hospital
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Oct 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Grohol, J. (2013). Gilbert, Arizona: Where ‘Paranoid Schizophrenics’ Will Escape, Harm Your Children. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 13, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/10/16/gilbert-arizona-where-paranoid-schizophrenics-will-escape-harm-your-children/