Don’t shoot down mental illness

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting on Feb. 14, there has been everyday discussions about gun control and mental health. After the incident, gun control became yet another ongoing topic and issue in this country, but what about mental illness? It seems like the topic of mental illness slipped, yet again, from people’s minds. But it’s about time we, as a country, discuss a mental health system reform for good.

With every mass shooting that catches national attention, these discussions have been brought up, but the discussion of mental illness has always been overshadowed by the idea of gun control. But does mental health deserve a backseat to gun control? The answer is no.

Yes, gun control is a very good idea, putting regulations on weapons that can do mass harm will help bring the number of those tragedies down. And we aren’t suggesting no gun control, we actually are all for gun control, but the discussion of a mental health reform needs to be started as well.

Everytime there is a shooting , leaders speak out about the need to help those with mental illnesses yet nothing is truly done about it. It is simply just talking. According to NAMI, the National Alliance of Mental Illness, in the United States 1 in 5 adults experience some type of mental illness.

By bringing more awareness to mental illnesses, people will understand more about the topic and have a better idea of the true struggles people with mental illnesses go through on a daily basis, and will help destigmatize the negative connotations surrounding it.

A study conducted by the Los Angeles Times reported that 59 percent of 185 public mass shootings that took place in the U.S. in 2017 were carried out by people who had mental illnesses.

Bringing more aid to the mental health community can play a big part in lowering unwanted and unplanned incidents.

Bringing direct aid is not the only thing that can be done. Workshops can help with informing our communities and certain demographics such as high school and college students, about the different types of mental illnesses and how to help those who have mental illness.

History is being made across the country for the benefit of the people like gun control regulations and racial and sexual equality. However mental illness should not be left behind as it is just as important.