Legislature votes to scrap old definition of mental illness

April 09, 2013

Arizona lawmakers voted Monday to scrap an old definition in the law books that said people with mental illness were idiots. It existed despite the fact that most references in the statutes have been updated to be legally and medically correct.

Jill Hogan, who has battled mental health issues, says there remain a lot of stigmas.

“The words in these kinds of bills and the stigma that’s out there, especially with what’s going on in the nation right now, hearing things like ‘monster’ and ‘lunatic’ really does prevent people from getting treatment,” Hogan said.

It's not the first time lawmakers have had to update the statutes. Just two years ago, they scrapped all references to 'mental retardation,' replacing that with 'intellectual disability.'

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