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View Diary: Something Has Changed, But What? (315 comments)

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  •  This (17+ / 0-)

    1,000 times this.

    both issues go hand-in-hand. Let's not use one to derail the other.
    At some point, as a society, we decided to eliminate the institutionalization of the mentally ill and treat them with medications. That was a good thing given the horrendous conditions present within those institutions and the number of people who were condemned to live there that could have been productive members of society.

    The medication route is clearly not working for a good portion of people that suffer from depression or mental illness either because they stop taking them, they don't have access to them or other supportive therapy or they are not properly supervised to see if they are effective. Insurance companies will not pay for appropriate treatment or supervision let alone long hospital stays for those requiring intensive supervision. Never mind the people that lack insurance or the resources to cover co-pays and uncovered expenses. We need a complete overhaul of how mental health services are delivered and paid for in this country.

    These fragile people have easy access to firearms. We have to address BOTH issues. It's futile to work on one without also tackling the other. Gun violence in this country isn't always perpetrated by the mentally ill either. Often situations escalate to the point where easy access to a weapon has deadly results. Addressing that is a much larger issue of tackling root causes of violence in our society.

    Right now, we're dealing with the prevention of mass murder. We have utterly failed in identifying and treating people with homicidal tendencies due to mental illness. We have utterly failed in limiting their access to guns. Would they use another method? Maybe. But anything more lethal like a bomb would require planning that would give others time to discover and foil the plot. A knife or other such implement would be less lethal (take the school attack in China as an example; tragic but not fatal). It's the easy access to guns that has brought us these horrific tragedies of late. So both access to mental health services and access to weapons need to be addressed if we are to tackle this.

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

    by Siri on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:11:02 AM PST

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    •  I agree, multiple issues need to be fixed. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      asterkitty, Siri, kyril, blueoasis

      "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

      by glorificus on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:25:40 AM PST

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    •  Back in the 1980s, the idea was to close the (11+ / 0-)

      mental hospitals and open up group homes.

      The Republicans were all in favor of closing hospitals, but not so hot on the idea of actually spending money to take care of the mentally ill.

      We see the results of their massive deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill on our streets, in our prisons, and in our morgues.

      And THAT'S what happened 25 years ago which accounts for the rise in school shootings today.

    •  I have lived with bi-polar disorder for 49 years. (10+ / 0-)

      Librium was the first drug administered, at age 14.  By 16 I was a serious alcoholic/addict, with easy access to prescription drugs.  I sobered up at 25, lived 4 years without any meds, was finally diagnosed as bi-polar and put on Lithium.  I've taken and rejected most of the drugs on the market.  Lamictal at max dosage helped me end up in jail for threatening a co-worker during a manic phase.  I was screaming, not shooting or hitting or throwing things.  

      I started working with a Sufi trained healer 2 years ago.  I use Genesis energy circles to balance my moods, and periodic healing sessions when PTSD is activated.  I'm sober 37+ years.  It's been hard work, I've been my only advocate most of the time.  

      Shrinks get paid for 15 minute med checks, not for therapy.  Medicare pays for me to see one every 90 days, 15 minutes.  I don't need him now.  The spiritual work, strong support communities, exercise, and age have given me the best life I've ever had.

      I've had gun training and access, it never appealed to me.  My dad and my brother had military training that connected guns with manliness.  I always figured if you needed a gun to feel safe, or manly, you needed help as much as I did, so why join that culture?  

      I know hunters I trust to handle their weapons.  I know men who think guns make them manly who I avoid as much as possible.  

      After Newtown I can't think of a single reason for owning guns in this country.  You can hunt with bows.  We're not a mature enough culture to be trusted to behave responsibly in cars or board rooms, why give us access to weapons?

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:22:04 PM PST

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    •  Absolutely what I was suggesting (3+ / 0-)

      We need better reforms to our decrepit mental facilities, more money for these, and less denial about how sick some people are, like they can just walk around freely shooting people because they can't be properly treated as they could be were they in a better setting for it.

      That would limit their access to guns, and it would increase their access to help. It would need to happen not to shut them up and lock away the key, something our society also did a bad job of, but to help them through compassionate care where they cannot harm themselves or others.

      For that, we need money for it.

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:46:33 PM PST

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