Thursday, August 18, 2022
Aug. 18, 2022

Linkedin Pinterest

Letter: Mental illness requires treatment


Mass shootings are back, and I am so tired of hearing the question, “What was the motive?” In most cases, there is no motive. The mass shooter is mentally ill.

Most of us have had no personal experience with serious mental illness. Only 1-2 percent of the population is mentally ill to the point of psychosis, but that is at least 3 million people. And there is no safe place for them to live.

When our own son was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a senior in college, there was treatment available, but no housing. If it becomes unsafe to house them with family, they become homeless and/or end up in jail. We were faced with either living in fear in our own home or allowing our son to be homeless.

When families call the police, they know their mentally ill loved one could be shot or taken to jail instead of being taken to a mental health facility. In practice, the longest they are held in a mental health facility is two weeks until they are “stabilized” and sent back to their overwhelmed families.

I will close by saying we are thankful for the education and emotional support we received from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Support local journalism

Your tax-deductible donation to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism program will contribute to better local reporting on key issues, including homelessness, housing, transportation and the environment. Reporters will focus on narrative, investigative and data-driven storytelling.

Local journalism needs your help. It’s an essential part of a healthy community and a healthy democracy.

Community Funded Journalism logo