Mental health systems need to be enhanced in the U.S. in order to address the increasing phenomena of multiple gun attacks upon innocent victims. Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Surveys polled US citizens on topics of gun violence and whether or not it was caused by mental illness, poor parenting, or existing gun laws. When asked about mental health issues, 27 percent of responders agreed that changes needed to be made to help those with psychological problems. In addition, 22 percent said that parenting skills were the main cause and 20 percent believed that gun laws could be more prohibitive.
Currently, research is being conducted which should identify elements of violence touched by mental illness. Good news came on Thursday when the Senate Finance Committee approved bipartisan legislation that would create pilot programs in ten states to increase access to mental health services. The focus is a part of taking a look at what is lacking in U.S. mental health institutions.
Many would say that there is no support for mental illness and that only those who have private insurance or medicare, or perhaps disability are able to get the help they need. Add to that the stigma associated with receiving mental health services, along with the fact that those who suffer from depression are one of the last groups to seek out such help, and the recipe for disaster is complete. This is why mental health systems need to be enhanced in the U.S.
“This nation has moved forward in knowledge of what it takes to help, but has moved backwards in getting that help done… Where there is no help, there is no hope, ” said Republican Congressman, Tim Murphy. Murphy practiced as a psychologist for thirty years before becoming a representative. He has drafted a bill to come to terms with the mental health problems of a nation, where increasing gun violence would dictate some kind of progress to help persons who see no way out of their troubles, but to shoot it out.
The bill introduced by Murphy on Thursday seeks to fight policies that allow only one prescription drug, meaning physicians cannot prescribe all the medications they could for certain illnesses under the public programs.
President Obama talked about the violence placed upon a whole town one year ago. In his weekly address, Obama said,
“Newtown is a town like so many of our hometowns. The victims were educators and kids that could have been any of our own, and our hearts were broken for the families that lost a piece of their heart, for the communities changed forever; for the survivors, so young, whose innocence was torn away far too soon.”
For Obama, it is also a gun control issue, but it goes hand-in-hand with the mental health condition of the perpetrators of gun violence on innocent parties. Motive in these cases has been difficult to establish in most recent events. Besides the typical disgruntled dismissed employee, those who have expressed their anger in gun violence are much more subtle in their apparent reasons for killing. In some instances, it almost seems random.
To address the enhancement of modern mental health systems, and to cure a nation of so many heartaches, it will take each state and the citizens of those states to establish programs to help those with mental illness. That priority, along with a national movement should bring the U.S. a possible stop to gun violence.
By Lisa M Pickering