Demi Lovato thinks it is unfortunate some members of the media characterise gunmen behind mass shootings as mentally ill.
The 23-year-old singer has long been an advocate for the mentally ill and in the past the star has been very vocal about her own struggles with addiction, self-harm and bipolar disorder.
A 26-year-old gunman named Chris Harper Mercer killed nine people and injured about 20 after going on a shooting spree at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last Thursday 1 October (15).
And although some are quick to claim Chris was mentally ill, Demi has invited people to take a different perspective on the matter.
“Well, unfortunately, we’ve had several instances where mental health has been brought to the attention by the media because of these tragedies,” Demi explained during her Monday 5 October (15) appearance on news programme MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall. “I think it’s really important to remember that actually mental health — people with mental illness are actually more likely to inflict harm on themselves and become the victim rather than be the perpetrators.”
Demi’s father Patrick, who also suffered from bipolar disorder, passed away in 2013.
And she has previously spoken about how important it is to stand up for others who might be struggling with mental illness.
“[The issue] is very important to me because I have struggled with bipolar disorder for several years now,” Demi told People magazine.
“Also my father had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as well, and I watched him live a very unfortunate life because of the lack of access to treatment. So it’s very personal to me. I just think mental illness is something people need to learn more about and the stigma needs to be taken away from. It’s also about speaking up for your community which is taking action, whether it’s writing a letter to Congress and telling them how this is affecting you and your life and how you would like to see mental health care more accessible in your community.
“There’s so many different ways you can help. I think together as a country we have to step up and we have to do something about this issue that is becoming quite an epidemic.”
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