What should we be talking about after the Las Vegas Tragedy?
The first tweets about the massacre in Las Vegas were ostensibly about the issue of Gun Control. Often couched in terms of "gun violence", I must take issue and point out guns are inanimate objects: they cannot commit violence. Additionally, we have seen numerous news stories talk of the gunman when the conversation we should be having is one about Mental Health! This man was not a "gunman", he was a "psychopath". Yet we have heard very little about the state of mental health services.
Anyone who has been around healthcare for any time is aware of the dismal state of mental health in our country. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) noted, "Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental condition received mental health services within the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9% received mental health services in the past year". (www.nami.org). Almost 40 % of adults with a serious mental illness went untreated!
Catch the issues early experts say. However, NAMI reports, "Seventy percent of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental condition and at least 20 percent live with a serious mental illness". Let me say that again, Twenty percent of our YOUTH LIVE WITH A SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS!
So we have yet another horrific wake-up call about the ugliness of our mental health system and politicians want to talk about guns. Do we have our priorities straight? I am not so sure.
Mental Health Stats