American fashion designer Kenneth Cole recently posted a billboard prominently displayed over Manhattan’s West Side Highway that reads: “Over 40M Americans suffer from mental illness. Some can access care … All can access guns” with hashtags #gunreform and #areyouputtinguson.
Once again, an uninformed celebrity type has used his influence to further stigmatize those with mental illness.
I fully expect him to be jumping on Oprah’s couch next week advising the public if they embraced Scientology or possessed a pair of running shoes, there would be no need for psychiatric care.
American Psychiatric Association President Dr. Renee Binder made a public statement about the billboard, saying it unfairly linked mental illness with gun violence and the need for gun control. “It provides the gross misimpression that people with mental illness are violent,” Binder said. “The vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent and most acts of violence are not committed by people with mental illness.”