America and other countries around the world have recently beenexposed to news of the California public shooting incident which left14 people dead and another 17 injured. The incident, though linked toterrorism, reminded Americans of some other public shootingincidences in the past that have been largely attributed mentalhealth problems. As a result, the public is worried that suchincidences might be become more frequent unless mental health problemis addressed well and funded accordingly. Citizens in a number ofstates including Texas have held protests to seek better funding formental healthcare as reported by a recent article by Rogers (2015) inthe Dallas Morning Post. However, linking mental health to massshootings remains has been opposed by some though a Gallup Pollssurvey in 2011-2013 showed that 86% of Americans believed that mentalillnesses partially contribute to mass shootings (Gallup 2016). Inlight of this, Rogers reveals an interesting trend where states arecutting back on mental health spending thus putting the lives of suchpatients and the general public at greater risk.
The article by Rogers (2015) indicates that 36 states increasedmental funding in 2013 but that number dropped to just 23 in 2015.This is a worrying trend in that Texas and many other states do notseem eager to stem a growing problem facing the populations. In fact,only Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Minnesota, NewHampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, andWashington have persistently increased mental health funding since2012. Decreased funding lowers quality of mental health services andeven the number of patients covered. Mark you, changes in the workenvironment, economic fluctuations and the modern lifestyle arelikely to increase the number of mental health patients. It istherefore important to address the issue of funding to cater to thegrowing number of patients who are in need of mental health services.This way, these persons will not be denied their rights to properhealthcare as per constitutional demands. Again, addressing the issueof mental health in the appropriate way will avert incidences such asmass shootings blamed on mental health problems. Furthermore,increased funding in mental healthcare will fund better research thatwill be critical in diagnosing mental health problems early enough.
Rogers, A. (2015).Despite Public Demands, States Continue to Cut Mental Health Funding.
Saad, L. (2013).Americans fault mental health system most for gun violence.Gallup.com.