Courtesy of Kitsap Sun – In the wake of any horrific tragedy, such as the one that claimed the lives of 17 people in Parkland, Florida, many in the media and the general public are quick to conflate mental illness with violence.

It’s not hard to understand why this happens. After all, movies and crime dramas often portray those living with mental illness as scary, unpredictable and violent. And, yes, mental illness was in fact a driving factor in several mass shootings in recent years, including Sandy Hook and Tucson. Unfortunately these facts can lead people to conclude that all people living with mental illness are inherently violent, a conclusion that is not only wrong, it is harmful.

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