In light of several recent tragedies, some well-known and some not, I think we need to seriously address the shortcomings of our health care system when it comes to mental health. Almost every recent mass shooting incident has been pinned on mental health, whether warranted or not. According to a release issued in 2013:
Analysis conducted by the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange (CFIX) has found that 79% of mass shootings since 2011 have been perpetrated by individuals with “demonstrated signs of continuous behavioral health issues and mental illness.” In a July case study titled “Acts of Violence Attributed by Behavioral and Mental Health Issues“, CFIX analyzed 14 mass shooting incidents that occurred between 2011 and 2013 and found that only three of the shooters had no history of mental illness.
If you think it’s simply all about guns, mass shootings, gun grabs, banning guns, or anything else of the sort, then you’re either tone-deaf or simply refusing to see what’s going on before our collective eyes. There have been other incidents without the use of guns where a person has “gone off the deep end”, even after people surrounding that person has observed signs showing a need for mental health intervention.
As of lately, I’ve become accustomed to equating our society with the Michael Douglas movie “Falling Down”, and more and more I think we’re going to see episodes of people having breakdowns that end up in violent confrontations.
How can we be the wealthiest country on the face of the Earth, spend the sum of money we do on health care, and we can’t provide the basic mental health support necessary to keep us from killing each other? Will the PPACA identify, address, and repair shortcomings in our treatment of mental illness? Or, will we continue to see these incidents pop up all around us like the whack-a-mole game at the county fair?