Is Mental Health Always to Blame?

By Eric DeFreeuw

December 17, 2012 Updated Dec 17, 2012 at 11:26 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - It seems like clock-work following a mass shooting - the discussion regarding the suspect's mental health is brought up as an excuse. More often than not it’s used as a direct or partial cause for blame. But a local mental health expert thinks that shouldn’t always be the case.

Lisa Freeman, the Executive Director at Mental Health America in Allen County says, “keep in mind that mental illness doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to be violent. One in four adults in our community is struggling with some form of mental health crisis, and we don't have that kind of violence going on."

It does appear a possible mental health issue has been ruled out as a cause for the latest shooting. But what are things we should be looking out for as friends, family members, or neighbors?

Although circumstances change on a case-by-case basis, the important thing is to pay attention. Look to see whether the person's behavior is significantly changing. That can mean they become more outgoing or more reserved. Of course if they start bragging about or threatening to do harm to themselves or others, it’s time to seek help.

Start with a call to the authorities, area police have a Crisis Intervention Team that are willing to talk. But don’t be afraid to call a local mental health expert. Both have been trained to provide the help and care that is likely needed.




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