P7a: Improve Access to Mental Health Care

This post is part of a long series of planned blog posts about proposed gun control measures to reduce the risk of mass shootings.

Link to Serious Example of this Proposal: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1982

1) What problem does it solve?

Some / many / most (choose your word) mass shooters are mentally ill.

There is a clear relationship between mental illness and mass public shootings.

At the broadest level, peer-reviewed research has shown that individuals with major mental disorders (those that substantially interfere with life activities) are more likely to commit violent acts, especially if they abuse drugs. When we focus more narrowly on mass public shootings — an extreme and, fortunately, rare form of violence — we see a relatively high rate of mental illness.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-duwe-rocque-mass-shootings-mental-illness-20180223-story.html

2) How well does it solve the problem? 

Affirmative Answer: It wouldn’t entirely solve the problem, but it would help mitigate it. Mental Health Therapists (MHTs) are passionate about their work and are not greedy individuals(usually), most would do some pro-bono work for some type of kick back that would cost less than it would to cover a person through Medicaid/Medicare. Student loan debt reduction in exchange for x number of annual pro-Bono hours, for example, would be something that probably many MHTs would be interested in.

Negative Answer: Poorly.

(a) The majority of mass shooters weren’t mentally ill.

“If we were able to magically cure schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression, that would be wonderful,” Jeffrey Swanson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine, told ProPublica. “But overall violence would go down by only about 4 percent.”

Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/10/why-better-mental-health-care-wont-stop-mass-shootings/541965/

See also: https://www.npr.org/2018/02/23/588374658/experts-say-theres-little-connection-between-mental-health-and-mass-shootings

(b) Furthermore, some mental illnesses like sociopathy, cannot be treated with medication or psychotherapy.

3) What new problems does it add?

Affirmative Answer: (?)

Negative Answer: (?)

4) What are the economic and social costs?

Affirmative Answer: Free access to mental health care has a large (economic) cost, but that cost outweighs the the harm caused by mass shootings.

Negative Answer: Free access to mental health care has a large (economic) cost.

5) Given the above, is it worth the costs?

Affirmative Answer: Yes

Negative Answer: No

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