Top U.S. General Cautions against Mental Illness Stigma after Tragic Shootings
Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, speaks out against mental illness stigma after U.S. Navy Yard Shootings
During a Pentagon press conference held by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin E. Dempsey on September 18, 2013, reporters asked questions about the recent tragic shootings at the U.S. Navy Yard. When asked about de-stigmatizing mental health and the issue of security clearance, General Dempsey responded with a clear statement defending the rights of the mentally ill:
“As for the questions about mental health on security clearance forms, I actually was one of those with Pete Chiarelli and others who believed that men and women should have the opportunity to overcome… their mental disorders or their mental challenges or… their clinical health challenges and shouldn’t be stigmatized. And so I still remain in that camp, that a man or woman should have the ability to — with treatment — overcome them and then to have a fruitful life and gain employment, including inside of the military.”
Clubhouse International applauds General Dempsey for his outspoken statement in defense of the rights of those living with mental illness and against stigmatization.