There is not much parking available in the big city, so I decided to take a bus. It was crowded so I was pleased when a young man stood up to give me his seat. All of a sudden, I heard singing and , I turned around. I saw a man in his late twenties, singing at the top of his voice, and not very tunefully either. A closer look showed that he was rather unkempt; his hair was a mess, his clothes rumpled and not too clean. Every now and again he stopped singing, spoke to himself and then resumed his song.
People moved away from him, pointed to their heads indicating that he was not alright and some shouted at him to be quiet. But it was in vain. The young man did not seem to be aware of the commotion around him and still singing, he got off the bus at the next stop.
I was dismayed at the lack of compassion among some of my fellow passengers. It shocked me. The man in question was obviously in need of treatment but I wondered why the other passengers seemed to be afraid of him. His behavior might have been odd, but it was harmless.
Then I found the following article printed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
- 50% of Canadians won’t tell their friends or co-workers that they have a family member with a mental illness, whereas 68% would disclose a family member’s diagnosis of diabetes and 72% for cancer.
- 88% said they would not hire a lawyer who has a mental illness.
- 51% disclosed that they would not socialize with a friend who had a serious mental illness.
- 40% think people use the term mental illness s an excuse for bad behavior.
- 27% are fearful of being around people who suffer from a serious mental illness.