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-- -- and other recent massacres the issue of mental illness and how we deal with that as a nation as communities has really bubbled up.
Across the pantry so when it comes to the mentally ill are we really asking.
-- what the right questions prevent other incidents like this from happening the early as a former Washington Post reporter author of the book crazy.
A father's search through America's mental health madness in Pete we should mention that word crazy.
I did not refer your search necessarily or her son.
That the book is about as well your personal experience it's about the mental health system overall tell us a little bit about.
Your personal journey and how you start to look in San Fernando -- this overall.
Well -- it really is a crazy system you know my son became sick when he was in college he was in Manhattan I raced there.
He -- wandering around the city for five days he hadn't slept he was convinced god had him on a special mission.
He would cry one man hitting great pain and then -- the next thing he said dad how would you feel someone you love killed himself by race team to an emergency room.
And the doctor made -- wait for hours and then he came in and said look I can't help your son.
I said needed -- examining is that it didn't matter the loss said he had to be an immediate imminent danger.
And because my son didn't think he was sick because he did -- take medication.
There was nothing they -- do they said bringing back after he tries to hurt you kill you or kill someone else 48 hours later he slipped out of the house.
He broke into a stranger's house he broke -- take a bubble -- Luckily no I was there.
And he was charged with two -- breaking and entering and destruction of property so I couldn't get -- help.
And then the law wanted to punish him for a crime he committed because of his illness.
-- That's an amazing story -- senate how -- now.
He's 33 and it's a typical start you know if you.
Have a mental illness in this country and 57 million Americans in any given year have a -- of all medals.
And you have a psychotic break the average chance of you getting help.
Vs being arrests dead is four to one that he'll end up in jail rather than in a hospital four to one now imagine if we had that statistic for heart attacks.
It gives us an anything about I want I want to mention in this conversation that when we talk about Adam -- -- James -- or some of these recent shootings.
That we talk about mental health but we do not have an official diagnosis for either of these young man.
We thank you at were assuming.
That there are things that were -- -- that they were mentally ill in some way but I want to point out that there's note the facts are not there yet as to precisely.
What was motivating and if that was a part of it -- how do you think that -- -- to -- issue overall.
Should be -- -- is we're discussing other things like gun control legislation and right to try to prevent these massacres from happening.
Well I'm glad you pointed out -- -- -- very wise about that we don't know what does diagnosed as we don't know if those diagnosis has led to the crimes that were committed we do know in Tucson we do know in Virginia Tech.
That these were young man who had mental health problems we know that they could have been prevented.
Had the law's been changed so that people could have interacted with them and had we had good mental health services.
We don't know about the -- shooter but we know that.
I think there's a 146000.
People and Connecticut who have -- a mental health site now -- half of them don't get the help they need 17% of the hospitals there have been closed down.
So what we need to do is focus not on compiling a list of people on going well we should -- monetize these people by keeping guns away.
We should realize that most people of metals aren't dangerous they don't pose a risk.
And we should focus on getting those who need help the help they need before we have the Tucson shooting in a Virginia Tech should.
What the issue came back to public safety and sentiment some well we're talking about these specific incidents and that the logic is ending like this.
That guns are focused because if people that are evil are people that mental illness are people that wanna do bad things -- not have weapons and then we can't be hurt.
And we don't want to be hurt so that's the kind of the approach what do you think of -- that logic when it comes to mental illness.
Well first of all people who I have -- are not evil we are not the enemy.
Mental illnesses bipolar disorder schizophrenia we don't know the cause of -- we believe their genetic or environmentally induced they're not the fault of the person who got my son didn't do anything wrong to get a mental illness.
He's not an evil person.
And we have to remember again that most people of metals those aren't dangerous they're more likely to be the victims what we have to recognize is that a small subgroup of people.
Who -- and psychotic conditions.
May act out inappropriately and we have to take steps to make sure we get them help or stop them from acting out.
Obviously gun control as an issue because guns are a way that people of acted out.
Right now we have laws on the book that say that if you're committed to an institution you can't own a gun.
-- the devil is in the you know I think 40% of first responders to 9/11 were reported having PT SD a medalist.
Are you got a bar those people from having guns is inappropriate senate -- it could.
It definitely paid it then if it what are they -- be is going to be talking to congressman nice to -- up next hour there are some reports -- inside the house that they might include.
-- -- health legislation with -- at all as a way to church try to get legislation.
You know out either chamber.
If we could have a change to legislation.
What what would it be what would what would it win it mean for mental health and and changing the system so people would would get help sinner like yeah.
-- act access to services.
You know right now we don't have access to good community services we've been cutting those back we shouldn't do what we did in Virginia after Virginia Tech.
We passed 42 million in new mental health services -- -- -- -- -- the next year we cut fifteen million.
We never changed one gun law instead we just made a long list stigma enticing people saying oh if you do this -- you have -- mills you'll have to be reported.
So you know we need to focus on good mental health care.
Get people good care and that will help reduce the number of incidents we have like that's.
It is great -- perspective we so appreciate the time and we look forward to having you back on the program thank you so much.
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