My Thoughts On The Mental Health System

The media and films portray them as crazies, killers, outcasts. A survey from the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) found that 20 percent of American adults are live with a mental illness. However, out of all the 45.9 million people with a mental illness only 39 percent have gotten treatment.

So who’s to blame now?

  • Why does society think that people with mental health issues are all bad? I beg to differ, I think that individuals who suffer from mental illnesses are shunned away from the right treatment, they are either given too little or too much medication, and they put inside institutions that don’t help them at all; often these places make the illnesses worse.
  • The mental health system in this country is broken. In the 60 Minutes video on young adults with mental health Scott Pelley speaks with a father named Creigh Deeds who lost his son to mental health issues, and almost his life. Deeds said “I really don’t want Gus [his son] to be defined by his illness, I don’t want Gus to be defined by what happened on the night of the 19th. Gus was a great kid.” Deeds goes one to say, “If he could be hospitalized that night, they could have gotten him medicated…”
  • After the ’60s a large amount of mental institutions closed down. However, people weren’t getting the right treatment at home. This left only one option to go to, the emergency room.

This had to be the second worse thing that could happen to people who struggle with mental illnesses. The first was pre-mental institutions aka insane asylums. Emergency rooms are for people who are dying, for people who have serious injuries, for people who had strokes and heart attacks, etc. Yes, these are all serious issues just like mental illness, but mental ill people need rehabilitation and counseling. Emergency rooms are too noise and small and dull, these people need open rooms, pace and quiet, music, civil conversations, etc.

  • And now how not to report on mental illness. The reporter starts by say that the shooter was, “Just a boy wearing a school uniform…” This type of reporting is called “It could happen to you,” meaning a boy in your town, in your school could start a mass shooting for no reason. Now am I saying this is a botched news report not really, but the reporter is focusing on fear. Fear that you will start to believe something like this will happen in your town or school.

But they never discuss what can be done to stop mass shootings in school.

Since the Newton shooting in sandy Hook Elementary there has been 30 more school shootings. there has been some gun laws that did pass allowing stricter gun control rules, and most Americans want to see new gun laws being acted upon.

Nevertheless, a figure pulls the trigger. All these laws about gun control and safety measures are great, but what about the owners?

  • What we should be doing is not allowing everyone a gun, but allowing background checks on people who have criminal records, people who have anger issues, people who are alcoholics, and for the public also. For the public, because there are people who look, talk, and act just like you and me, but something might have struck them in a negative way, and the next thing you know they snap and shoot up schools or private places.
  • We need to stop asking the questions “why did this happen?” “What made this innocent person do such a thing?” Stop it! We all know the answer he or she was depressed; they weren’t on their medication; they were never given the right treatment; they were anti social, etc. By saying why and how could this person do such a thing you’re basically defending the shooter.

If you want to know why shootings at schools or malls, or anywhere go see what goes on in hospitals, in institutions, in their own homes. Then come back and tell me if it’s mentally ill people who are crazy or if it’s society that makes them snap.

I hope a law gets passed that allows people who suffer from mental health to finally get the treatment they need.


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