I am greatly disturbed by the disparaging terminology being used to describe the man involved in the recent Sydney siege, by people who frankly should know better! Repeatedly I am hearing civic leaders, well respected commentators and even our own Prime Minister, who surely should be more aware of the power of words, referring to the obviously mentally ill man as mad, a nutter and other similarly derogatory terms.
It has taken a great deal of effort, over many years, to attempt to educate the public about mental illness, the danger of stigmatising those who are ill, and the harm ill chosen words may have on their wellbeing.
Our PM and those like him who have joined the chorus of people whose apparent anger and grief has clouded their judgement, should pause and reflect on how they can more appropriately express themselves in a way that heals rather than inflicts more harm and pain.
– Mary Porter AM MLA, Member for Ginninderra, ACT Legislative Assembly