#SayHerName Deborah Danner

About 42.5 million American adults, which equates to about 18% of the population suffers from some type of mental illness including depression, schizophrenia, bi-polar diseases, among others. That is nearly 1 in 5 Americans…

NYPD killed another black woman with a mental illness on October 20, 2016. Her name….Deborah Danner.

That Tuesday night, Danner had been dealt with more than thirty years of schizophrenia. She was fighting with her family as she wanted to remove her sister, Jennifer, as her guardian. Her family nor her sister gave up on her. Danner was a bright individual who penned an essay entitled “Living with Schizophrenia” in 2012. According to Danner she felt “disappointed” by her sister and other kin and accused them of buying into the “stigma” surrounding mental illness. “Generally speaking, those who don’t suffer believe the worst of us who do,” she wrote. “We’re treated with suspicion as liars who can’t be trusted to control ourselves.” Old friends also abandoned her, she wrote. So did some of her relatives.

“I felt myself isolated and mostly alone…without their company or succor,” she wrote. “I was left to the tender mercies of a series of doctors and other mental health professionals.” Danner spoke about the need for more mental health training for police officers.

“We are all aware of the all too frequent news stories about the mentally ill who come up against law enforcement instead of mental health professionals and end up dead,” she wrote.

Eerily, this was her fate.

Officers went to her apartment around 6:00 p.m. after a neighbor called about an erratic acting woman. An officer encountered the woman who was wielding scissors, but he was able to persuade her to put it down. Danner, then reached for a bat attempting to hit the officer. An officer then fired two shots, hitting Danner in the torso where she later died after being taken to Jacobi Medical Center.

When will officer be properly trained on dealing with the mentally ill? When will society stop the stigma on people with mental illnesses? When will it end?

If you want to know more about Danner, you can google her. I am an advocate for mental illness and we need to revamp our guidelines pertaining to the mentally ill. They are not a threat to us, but we are a threat to them simply because we do not help them. We cast them away. Then they are gunned down as if they are murderers, rapists, and killers? SMH.

Say Her Name- Deborah Danner



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