Monday, March 23, 2009

"Dumping Grounds"

The Chicago Sun-Times has an article today by Carla K. Johnson about a tragedy occurring in a nursing home where an older man is beaten by a younger resident who has a mental illness.  She refers to how "nursing homes across the nation have become dumping grounds for young and middle-age people with mental illness."

Am I the only one bothered by the use of the term dumping grounds?  Like people with mental illness are trash, or are unworthy.  Yes, this was a tragic situation, but demonizing all people with mental illness as dangerous, violent ticking time bombs is yellow journalism at its worst.  I understand the point, that younger people with no where else to go are being sent to nursing homes, but must we resort to this poor use of terms?

Take a look at the headline currently being run: "Deadly mix: mentally ill in nursing homes".  If you have an opinion on this, please let the Sun-Times know.