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The Real Solution To Mass Murders Such As The Newtown, CT Shooting
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I write this on a day where we have 20 less children and 7 less adults in the town of Newtown, Connecticut. I won’t post this tonight because for once, I wish to keep my opinionated mouth shut so we can keep these poor souls at the forefront in our memories.

It’s the tragedies like this that make people really push for a change. Between news articles, Facebook, Twitter… everyone wants change so something to this extent never happens again. The ideas of change vary but it seems to be coming back to two main points. First there is the ever so popular gun control argument. I won’t go on and on about it because there is no rebutting against anyone who strongly believes there should be more gun control rights. They dislike guns, I like them. But this whole gun control fight is very similar to the fight against marijuana. Marijuana is illegal is most states but do people still do it? Oh hell yeah! You can make guns illegal for all citizens but the people who want them, will still get them. It’s simple as that. So there’s that.

And then there is another push that I honestly hadn’t heard about until I moved down to the south. The second argument is that we need “God” back in our school systems. As a non-believer, I’m just not sure how to respond to this without sounding biased. In general I don’t believe it is something that is even possible because we live in a country where we’re able to practice what we believe. While the general idea of “a god” is agreed upon by most religions, the “God” that these people are referring to isn’t necessarily believed upon by all. Additionally, there are people who willingly believe there is no “God” and to push this belief which can’t be completely proven is like pushing the big bang or the theory of evolution which both can be proven on many different levels. But I digress. By putting “God” back into the school system doesn’t stop people from murdering just as it doesn’t stop people from having premarital sex and polygamous relationships. Additionally, believing in “God” won’t keep these children safe. Most religions believe that “God” has a plan for everyone and sometimes that plan does include being taken away at a brutally young age.

But there is something that I haven’t seen commented on at all online and that is a subject that is very close to me. Mental health. At the time of writing, there are only rumors that the shooter had some sort of personality disorder but true or not, it’s at least obvious that his thought process wasn’t healthy being that he was able to kill his mother and a classroom of innocent children.

I’ve been suffering from different mental health illnesses for most of my life and it has been virtually impossible to get under control due to the ill mental health network in our country. After these tragedies happen, we are more than willing to send professionals to help cope with this disaster but we never decide to take a proactive approach and try to do something before it even happens. Insurance with decent mental healthcare coverage is so expensive that it seems only the top 1% wealthiest people can easily afford it. Out of pocket cost for most sessions with a half decent psychiatrist is close to $100/hr which is pretty difficult to come by for most households especially when you require sessions for a year or longer on a weekly basis.

I pay $127/mo for my insurance for what I consider a half decent plan. For that $127/mo, I get a $3000 deductible and coverage for just myself. That’s a little over $1500 for a year of coverage and that is before ever seeing a doctor. Now if I need to go see a psychiatrist/psychologist for my anxiety or depression, they cover 20% of 3 visits. That comes to about $240 out of pocket for those three visits. Anyone who has seen a psychiatrist would probably agree that 3 visits doesn’t “fix” you or teach you how to completely cope with your illness. In my honest opinion, 6 months of visits on a weekly basis would still be quick but we’ll use that as an example here. 6 months of visits would be roughly 24 visits total with the first 3 visits semi-covered which comes to 21 visits at $100/hr. Between insurance and all out of pocket expenses, that comes to nearly $4000 a year which would be spent on just healthcare alone with absolutely no guarantee that I am any better. The overall median personal income for ages 18 and older is the United States is just $24,062 which means about 16.6% of the income is spent on healthcare alone. Mental illness or not, that would cause a great deal of extra stress in most people’s lives.

So why is it that people who need the proper mental care either don’t have access to it without literally draining their bank account, or they need to lie about their income to afford the care at a much more reasonable rate?

I don’t consider mental illness to just cover anxiety and depression which I personally suffer from but can also be caused my bullying or anti-social disorders which may lead to some people believing or acting different than others. Either way, whatever kind of mental issues they are suffering from, we need to get them the help they need… plain and simple.

Some people will argue that we can’t give help to people who don’t want it which is I agree with them to a certain extent. But what if the person doesn’t know that they need the help? If awareness of various mental health illnesses were taught to the general public, this would teach friends, family, teachers, co-workers, and others to catch these warning signs before they become an issue which would help make sure that tragedies like this never happened today.

There are a few different things that we can all do to help avoid this in the future.

• Say hi to a stranger - It’s sounds silly but so many people end up suffering from a mental illness of some sort because they are a loner or an outcast, and maybe that “hello” will help make them feel wanted or appreciated just like everyone else!

• Don’t pick on innocent people - Who cares if the kid wears a trench coat to school. How would you feel if you were picked on because of the baseball hat that you wear? Just because someone is different than you doesn’t mean you are better than them or that you’re necessarily even right.

• Be concerned for other people - Knowing that you have someone there for you can go a long way. If you’re concerned for someone because they are acting different, make it known that you’re there for them. It’s better that someone gets upset at you for wrongly being concerned than not being concerned and it ending in a catastrophe.

Mental illness is a serious problem in our country and being more aware of this issue will help go a long way in restoring our faith in all of humanity.

Street Talk

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