President Trump’s attribution of recent mass killings to mental illness has been called as a wrong conclusion by mental health experts. During a public address early this week Mr. Trump stated that the nation’s mental health laws should be reformed to better identify individuals that are mentally ill and capable violence so that these people get required treatment and are confined when necessary. But several mental health experts and representatives of American Psychological Association (APA) have called this statement unfounded.
They said it is wrong to blame mass shooting on mental illness as there are several other factors like hatred, bigotry and easy access to assault weapons in the country that is contributing to the spate of shootings. CEO of APA Arthur Evans stated that labeling every mass shooting as a mental health issue is stigmatizing and inaccurate. Mental illness affects around 1 in 5 adults in US or nearly 46.6 million people every year as per data of National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Evans stated that mass shootings happen due to a wide variety of reasons and if it was only a mental health issue there would have been several more mass shooting cases across the world. Though treating it as a mental health issue can lead to better policies for mental health but it is not likely to stop the next mass shooter.
As per data less than 5 % of mass shootings are carried out by people that have been diagnosed with mental illness. As per Professor Lori Ann Post of Northwestern University who has been tracking these cases most are hate and revenge crimes and are rarely related to mental illness. She says that most mass shooting cases are related to hate crimes, retribution killing or domestic violence where individual is determined to just kill as many people as possible.