Whether you are a Bleeding Heart Constitutionalist or an Anti-Gun Liberal – it’s hard for anyone to refute that mass shootings are caused by a gross mishandling of mental health issues.
The general consensus as to WHY somebody would carry out such a heinous act is fairly straightforward – mental and emotional instability.
And we needn’t just reference mass shootings to paint a bleak picture of just how unstable, depressed, and anxiety-ridden our society has become.
High suicide rates coupled with a growing drug epidemic, the dismantling of family institutions, and a significant percentage of the population in therapy or on mood stabilizers all point to a society that is seemingly unstable.
And that doesn’t count the people that hide their depression and anxiety behind closed doors, shopping sprees, gambling, affairs, alcohol, and working long hours. It’s not hyperbole to suggest Americans are at a boiling point and we’ve been that way for a while now.
The problem is that blaming the extreme actions of a few on “mental health issues” is a very dismissive statement for multiple reasons.
1. While everyone agrees, there is an issue with mental health, nobody seems to have any strategic plan to implement or address it.
2. Diagnosing mental health is kind of like someone handing over a broken car and telling them to fix it. Without knowing the history of the car, where it’s been, how it’s been driven, what parts have been replaced, how it’s been handled and looking at all its pieces with a fine-tooth comb – it’s not an easy diagnosis OR prognosis.
3. (This is the most important one) – who exactly is going to pay for all of this mental health research and therapy?
It’s really easy to say “America has a mental health problem,” but it’s nearly impossible to follow that with “and here’s how to fix it.”
That’s because psychologists, psychiatrists, and mental health experts are EXPENSIVE and TIMELY. In fact, according to this report out of Bloomberg, most insurance companies either don’t cover psychiatric treatments. When they do, the restrictions on what they cover are so meek, it’s hardly worth justifying the time and energy.
And that’s really the fundamental problem with the argument that America has a mental health issue. It’s not that it is an inaccurate assessment; it’s just a meaningless one with no constructive solutions. If we are going to continue having privatized insurance programs, then we have to accept the fact that those insurance companies aren’t going to cover mental health because it’s time-consuming and costly and that would be a bad business model for insurance companies.
So the merry-go-round regarding guns, mental health, suicides, and mass shootings will continue to spin because effective mental healing requires resources. And nobody is willing to invest.