Don’t Use Mental Illness as a Scapegoat for Mass Killings

The mass shootings have affected the psychological consciousness of American society, the way we live and go out in public places. But the narrative that repeats itself without any truth is that mental illness is the cause of these shootings, and it comes with hollow calls to provide more funding for these services.

To the politicians who say this: this is absolute rubbish. The cause of the mass shootings has nothing to do with mental illness and everything to do with men – almost exclusively white men – feeling empowered for power, wealth, women and influence and using extreme violence and destruction as a means to achieve this goal.

As a former Disability Commissioner, I can testify that funding for mental health services rarely gets done the way it should. If we really funded these services, clients receiving services from the state’s Department of Mental Health and Department of Developmental Services would have all of their basic needs met, such as housing and food on the table – providing relief parents who must always worry about their children and adults with intellectual and intellectual disabilities. Agencies would be able to pay their employees a living wage (now over $35 an hour) to meet their own basic needs, as they provide vital services and essential support to their many clients who cannot not, without help and company, support themselves. If we fund social security and welfare programs more and develop a less restrictive and punitive system, people with cerebral palsy will not see their benefits unfairly reduced.

The “we need to fund mental health” narrative is an empty promise and an outright lie. Conservative Republicans and do-nothing Democrats are to blame – but how can an anti-government party that is cutting the very support disabled people need to survive and live a decent life suddenly say, “Oh, yes, we need to fund the mental health services”?

Mass shootings are horrific and will continue to happen. Calling it a “gun problem” or a “mental health problem” misses the larger, more cultural point that no one wants to talk about.

Doug Ross, Avenue des Hurons

Comments are closed.