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I wrote a similar blog post titled, “Questions” over a year and half ago. I have made some changes from the original post, but the message is roughly the same.
Unfortunately, more lives have been lost and forever-changed by the most recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. An abundance of heartfelt prayers, thoughts, emotions, and messages are being expressed for the victims, survivors, their families, and communities. Sadly, this continues to happen repeatedly without any effective changes in the gun laws in our country. Some are finger-pointing mental health illness as the villain and trigger. This is perplexing! Clearly, it is being used as a “talking point”, and due to lack of knowledge. However, it is an inaccurate explanation and scapegoat for the mass shootings. This is an unfair characterization of individuals who have mental illnesses. It is also a disservice to the public for continuing the stigmatization mental illness.
Conversations and discussions about mental health issues are great, but it is important to include mental health professionals at the table to share accurate knowledge in effort to ensure that the public receives factual information. Currently, this does not seem to be happening. Despite what is being said by some, research does not show that mass shootings are linked to mental illness. Even though individuals with mental health disorders do tend to think, feel, behave, and process information differently, it does not mean they are violent.
Anxiety and depression are classified as mental health disorders. Does this mean that someone who has anxiety will likely engage in a mass shooting? Certainly not. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 of 5 Americans will experience a mental illness at some point during the course of a year. So chances are, you or someone you know will experience a mental illness this year.
Since some politicians and others would like to believe and incorrectly blame mental illness for mass shootings, does this mean that they will work hard to change and improve policies for mental health care?
Does this mean that we can expect? ... Improved Access to Care:
Well Minds & Mental Health Matters.