Mental Health Patients Are Crying Out For Help

Saturday, February 17, 2018

First and foremost, my heart and prayers go out to all the victims and family in the horrific and brutal Florida school shooting. Hearts and minds of all U.S. citizens will always have a special place for these innocent people who were ruthlessly gunned down.

The first conclusion that people want to jump to is gun control and point fingers at our government and law makers who have put specific gun laws into place. Are the guns really the ones at fault or could it very much possibly the owner of the gun? Guns don’t kill people, people pull the trigger and they are ultimately what kills people.

The root of the problem is the huge majority of mentally ill people who are to blame for these heinous and horrendous acts of violence and crime. To me, a “sane” person wouldn’t just casually walk into a place and unload rounds of semi-automatic rounds into innocent students and bystanders and then stroll out and grab a drink like nothing just happened. As a nursing student with plans of psychiatric nursing as my future career, it seems that mental health is mostly to blame for the acts that take place with gun violence. I mean, there was obviously something seriously imbalanced in this young man’s brain and the red flags and signs were beyond obvious to those around him.

I feel that our laws need to change to detour the mentally ill from being able to purchase firearms. Of course, this is a gray area to most people and then the stereotype comes into play. Let me just put it out there, mental health illness is real and it’s dangerous when people aren’t properly evaluated, diagnosed and monitored by the proper psychiatrist who can determine the illness and treatment plan.

Let me make one other thing very clear, being mentally ill does not make one crazy or not normal. No one chooses to have a mental illness and it’s time that the stereotype  of “crazy” be taken off these individuals as they would love to live normally if they had the choice. Now, here we enter the gray area. People with mental illness can only seek help if they make the choice. But, how many people are probably suffering with a severe mental illness and have no idea and are in denial? Making suicidal threats seem to be the only way to get a patient into the facility that can treat them.

Lastly, families can come together to admit their loved ones for treatment. It’s time that people get knowledge on the realism and dangers of mental illness and as a country, start pulling together to reach out to those who seem to be suffering. Be aware of those family members, friends, coworkers and class mates who seem to be in a depressive and lost state. Step up and be an ear for someone who is struggling to see the light in the darkness of their illness and don’t judge them, but encourage.

I believe that if lawmakers could really get a grasp on the severity of mental illness, that would be a huge stepping stone in the right direction for having a plan in action to change the laws according to their mental state. Of course it will be trial and error, but only a solution can finally come from what is right in front of us because it’s apparent that the laws are failing in allowing certain individuals to get their hands on weapons that they shouldn’t be allowed to. Convicted felons, whether they are violent or non violent offenders, totally lose their gun carrying rights. So, what about mentally ill health patients?

My heart is in the right place to help these individuals once I finish school. I know that there is a lot of anger over this shooting and I feel so much empathy and sympathy for all involved. I also feel that this young man should’ve been treated and he wasn’t at all. This shooting really should open up eyes all over at what not treating mental illness can and will do. I assure you that I am not defending this young man, but am trying to help others see that we have to take mental illness seriously and take away the “craziness” that has took so many people over. Think about this, what if he had finally got the proper help? What if he had been diagnosed and treated under the care of a psychiatrist? The ending may have turned out quiet differently and it’s so sad that it ended in such a gruesome way.

Again, prayers to all of those individuals involved and also to those suffering silently with mental illness. Please, let’s start looking and listening to help those who can’t help themselves.     

Nicole Morris

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