People with mental illness deserve a warm welcome

Attending the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Zoning Committee meeting regarding the proposed redevelopment of the former Barbara McInnis house at 461 Walnut Ave. on Oct. 14, my husband and I were struck by how uninformed our neighbors are about people with mental illness. I heard many people comment about this population not being a “good fit” with the neighborhood that has so many families, schools and a park within walking distance. It seems to me that their assumption is that people with mental illness are automatically dangerous and unfit to be around children and in open air spaces.

Mental Illness is just that, an illness, just like diabetes, heart disease, etc. It’s usually chronic and requires a lifetime of treatment and support. People with mental illness suffer greatly and deserve empathy and support just like anyone else who is struggling.

As an Iffley Road resident, I love the diversity and character of my neighborhood. I love talking with my neighbors and taking long walks in Franklin Park. I feel that the residents of the proposed redevelopment of the Barbara McInnis house would add to the diversity and value of our neighborhood. I welcome them and look forward to being a good neighbor.

Julie Mumford,
Jamaica Plain

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