Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cohn: U.S. Needs Better Treatment for Mentally Ill

Posted By on Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 5:39 PM

TNR's Jonathan Cohn puts the blame for Saturday's shooting on a lack of adequate mental-health treatment:


Count me among those who have been worried, for a while, about the violent undercurrent in political speech and, for much longer than that, about the easy availability of guns, particularly in states like Arizona that have notoriously lax gun control laws. Whatever role those factors actually played in this incident—and it’s really too soon to know—I have no problem decrying both. But the role mental health played in this shooting seems a lot clearer, even with the limited information already available. Almost by definition, somebody willing to open fire on a large, unsuspecting crowd has to be deeply disturbed.

Mental health, unfortunately, is probably the illness most likely to go untreated in the U.S. The stigma around mental illness isn’t what it once was, but it still exists. And notwithstanding laws, such as the 2008 Mental Parity and Addiction Equity Act, that have helped to provide more financial support for treatment, funds for care and support of the mentally ill remains woefully inadequate.

Read the whole thing here.

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