Society dances around the issue.
Another mass shooting.
Another crazy act of violence.
“We still do not know the motive,” the media reports.
I always hold my breath, feeling the reason in my bones.
The first 24 hours, government officials will talk about legislation regarding guns.
The next 48 hours, I feel relatively confident it will be reported the shooter had mental health issues.
“The family tried to get him treatment.”
“Why didn’t the family do something?” the crowds shout.
I cringe. I feel their shame, and I can easily imagine their efforts.
I remember after my father’s death, I tried desperately to get my mother treatment.
We moved her from the Austin area to the Dallas area.
I called the local MHMR (Mental Health and Mental Retardation) in Dallas, a government entity founded by President Kennedy in the 1960s. The majority of the funding goes to the mental retardation part of the organization. I am not against funding for those who struggle intellectually.
I simply believe there should be more focus on and more treatment on severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia. I do not understand why MHMR has not been broken into two separate entities.
There should be more focus on treatment for those with a severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia.
Below is a one-sided conversation I had with MHMR in Dallas, Texas years ago.
“She will have to make the appointment herself.”
I hung up in disbelief.
I wondered how in the world I was going to find treatment for my mentally ill mother.
Ten years before that, I was told by her psychiatrist,
“It says in the notes, without treatment, a tent would need to go over her.”
I looked at him. I sat with that truth and did not flinch the first few seconds, and then nodded.
I knew. I saw and heard her anguish, her suicide attempts, her cries in the night, the anger and fear on her face. During those manic episodes, which do not go away without treatment, the mania became worse. You can try to pray for it to go away. You can argue and try to reason with the mentally ill person, but they are insane…..mad….damn mad.
In Pete Early’s book, “Crazy,” he documents his gallant efforts to find his bipolar son help. He had no idea how difficult it would be. https://www.peteearley.com/books/crazy/
Senator Deeds of Virginia had visible scars on his face from his son’s attack. He shared his story with 60 minutes of how tried to get his son help.
Before you quickly blame the family of the mentally ill, read your state’s laws. The Treatment Advocacy Center’s website, listed below, is an excellent place to start.
Did you lose a loved one because of a random act of violence?
Become an advocate for better treatment for the mentally ill. Lobby for change. Lobby for accessible treatment.
Remember their minds cannot reason. They need medication and treatment, THAT is the only weapon we have to fight the mass shootings.