In the wake of the Oregon college shooting, many politicians put the blame for the recent mass killings epidemic on the nation’s broken mental health system. But John Oliver had a slightly different opinion on that matter.
The British American host of Last Week Tonight show believes that most mentally ill people are non-violent, while the majority of mass murderers are not mentally ill. So the problem may not lie with people but with guns.
On the other hand, he did agree that the U.S. mental health system was broken, saying that we know more about Greece than we do about how mentally ill people are treated in the U.S.
The Oregon tragedy, which cost the lives of ten people including the shooter who committed suicide during a gun battle with the police, is the 246th mass killing recorded in the U.S. since the beginning of the year. The shooter, which the media declined to name, is believed to have a history of mental issues.
As a result, GOP presidential candidates Ben Carson and Donald Trump along with Mike Huckabee drew the conclusion that the problem stems from the way America treats or ignores its mentally ill residents.
Yet, Oliver said that that isn’t the case since less than five percent of 120,000 gun-related murders were committed by a mentally deranged person, or at least that’s what the American Journal of Public Health revealed earlier this year.
Moreover, Oliver thinks that mentally ill patients have a higher risk of falling victims to violence than healthy people.
“So the fact we tend to only discuss mental health in a mass shooting context is deeply misleading,”
the host added.
Oliver also cites official reports that show 43.8 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their lives. But the system is broken. Since a 2009 report shows that 125,000 young- and middle aged people diagnosed with a severe mental illness are forced to live with the elderly in the nation’s nursing homes.
In some cities, Oliver continues, mentally ill folks are not treated but they are flocked into a one-way bus to other cities. Oliver also said that there are 10 times more Americans in jails than in state-owned mental health facilities.
And allowing the criminal justice to solve mental health problem is ‘terrible,’ Last Week Tonight’s host added.
Oliver concluded that we do owe mentally ill people a plan as long as we use them to dodge gun control debates.
Image Source: Pixabay
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