Cartoon contest stigmatizes mental illness

Published: Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 - 7:10 am

Re "Cartoon caption contest" (Opinion, editorial cartoon, Jan. 1): I'm concerned about the unintended bias against the mentally ill suggested by the recent cartoon depicting a truck advertising “Nevada Patient Transport Co.” approaching the California state line. One suggested caption equates the seriously mentally ill with hazardous waste, while another equates the seriously mental ill with a far-right political party. After the Sacramento Bee’s important, ground-breaking investigation identifying the tragic and inhumane discharge of seriously mentally ill patients from Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital to the Las Vegas bus terminal, I would have expected more sensitivity from free-lance editorial cartoonist Steve Greenberg and the Editorial Board. Mental illness is just that - an illness - and this cartoon contest only adds to the pervasive stigma endured by affected patients and families. Surely, this is not the message intended by The Bee.

-- Vicki Wheelock, Sacramento

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