'Mental Health Is Your Problem Here'; Not So, Say San Antonio Advocates

'Mental Health Is Your Problem Here'; Not So, Say San Antonio Advocates”

Hours after the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, President Trump took a firm stance on the violence, saying that he believed it was a "mental health problem".

Mental health advocates are exhausted of the automatic connection between mass shootings and mental illness. A lot of problems over a long period of time.

"This isn't a guns situation", Trump said.

And indeed, it appears most Americans feel the same way.

In February, Trump signed into a law a bill repealing an Obama-era policy created to limit access to guns among people with certain mental illnesses.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHSS) says that people with mental health illnesses are no more likely to be violent than the population at large. NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In short, Trump says this is a mental health problem, but his actions suggest otherwise.

"Mental health stakeholders are loath to have this conversation about improving mental health care in a context-driven by violence prevention because that's not why we need mental health reform per se", said Swanson. "The majority of people who have mental illness truly diagnosable mental illness are not violent people". "That is not two-plus-two-equals-four".

Jeffrey Swanson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University who specializes in gun violence and mental illness spoke to the Atlantic about mental health and violence a year ago. She argues individuals who commit mass murder are motivated by something else and that treatment, no matter how available, might not be a viable solution.

"It's unsafe to do that in that we then condemn people for something that may not be their fault", she said. "Those type of people are not going to want to get help, they think they're right, even if we had all the funds in the world".

Michael Stone, a forensic psychiatrist at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons who the Washington Post reported maintains a database of more than 300 killers, a lot of them shooters of four or more people, found that just about two out of ten mass killers were suffering from serious mental illness.

"The rest had personality or antisocial disorders or were disgruntled, jilted, humiliated or full of intense rage", the Washington Post went on to report.

Often the reaction when someone becomes a mass shooter is they must be mentally ill.

It should be noted neither Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter, nor Devin Kelley, the church shooting suspect, were known to have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

The shooting at the First Baptist Church, like so many other mass shootings in the United States, is not an inevitable result of someone having a "mental health issue". Download the 10News app now.

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