Friday, May 29, 2020 – Fountain House today released the following statement from President and CEO, Ashwin Vasan, MD, PhD, regarding recent police violence and racist incidents across the United States:
"Fountain House abhors the police violence and racism infusing the criminal justice system that led to the tragic recent murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and delayed prosecution in the murder of jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. We are an organization dedicated to working together with people with mental illness so that they can thrive, and advocating for policies that support that thriving - including justice reform. People with serious mental illness, particularly Black people with mental illness, are seriously overrepresented in the justice system. Too often, people come to Fountain House after they have been harmed because of structural racism and related unwarranted encounters with police and the justice system. Such violence is also a catalyst for trauma and mental illness to develop or worsen. There are policies and practices being piloted around the country that can avert these unlawful tragedies. We mourn with the families and friends of those slain - recognizing that there are likely many other victim's names that we do not know - and join with advocates across the entire social justice spectrum calling for systemic police and justice reform."