Does America face a 'mental health crisis'?
Dr. Leigh Vinocur weighs in
- Duration 3:45
- Date Dec 17, 2012
Dr. Leigh Vinocur weighs in
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-- town reopens the debate about what to do -- mental illness in this country sadly it seems to be a common denominator in so many mass shootings in recent years.
The brother of shooter -- -- reportedly telling police his brother suffers from Asperger's syndrome and he also had a personality disorder.
James Holmes the alleged shooter in last summer's movie -- shooting in Colorado was known to have psychological problems.
Jared Loughner who tried to assassinate congresswoman Gabriel Giffords had long been suspected of being unstable in fact when he was first arrested.
And put on trial he was deemed at first unfit to stand trial.
Doctor -- Okur is a board certified -- our position and adjunct professor assistant professor I should say at Louisiana state university medical school.
In Shreveport doctor Vinocur at at times like this -- often think back to what might.
High school principal one stop -- which is that you know the brain is an organ just like any other in the body and just like any other.
It can get sick.
Yeah absolutely it's just terrible that we have to have tragedies like this to remind us that we have a mental health.
Crisis today in the United States in the last decade services have strong psychiatric hospitals have.
And BER unfortunately knows very well.
That one there's a crisis related to mental health everybody ends up in the ER.
And it backs up the ER because we have no place to send these people for more definitive help.
After the crisis so it's a big problem.
Why is that that as a society we have closed down so many of these mental health centers and so forth.
Well I think you know some of it is budgetary of course I mean people are cutting and and the hospital dedicated strictly to psychiatric issues.
Have just been squeezed like other hospitals and also if you think about.
Sometimes the the people with there's a stigma about mental health.
You know the indigent.
Sometimes there's not a lot of insurance coverage for it and it's just put a big squeeze on ER's the safety net now for mental health but.
They get backed up because there's no place to send people that need extended care.
The report that the gunman had Asperger's syndrome I mean it's not a common condition but there are a lot of people in this country who have.
Asperger's syndrome and and they're not running now picking up guns and firing into classrooms.
Well you know that's a big issue and actually Asperger's is on the autism spectrum and truthfully a lot of people with Asperger's he was reported -- being extremely -- a lot of people -- -- Are very social.
But it's there's a -- -- to them when you really start to talk to them and end.
They're certainly Asperger's is not a predisposition for that but you don't even know I mean -- patient comes into the ER.
With a mental health diagnosis or illness you need to decide at that time are they a risk to themselves or others and you can never always fully predict -- something like this is gonna happen when someone's gonna become violent when they're gonna snap and and that's a big issue but certainly if we dealt more preventative -- more outpatient.
Therapy for mental -- people more inpatient beds war peace patients in crisis but so they don't get turned out -- the -- He would lessen the chances of some kind of violent.
Snapping or some kind of violent incident.
And so many lessons here still to be figured out we're still in the early stages of doing that but obviously a lot of decisions need to be made and maybe some systems changed.
Doctor Vinocur Dr.
Leigh -- thank you my --