Sunday, January 16, 2011


I'm still not ready to have a long discussion about the shootings in Arizona, but last night I wept for the all of the people affected by the tragedy in Arizona. All of them. Even the shooter. My belief (formed from the facts available so far) is that the shooter has severe mental illness. Everyone around him saw it. People were scared of what the illness had done to him. But nobody tried to help him. When one is that ill, it is almost impossible to get the needed help. Hell, it's almost impossible when one's mental illness isn't anywhere near that severe and the shooter was so ill that he didn't even know he was ill, so how was he supposed to do it without help?
This country treats mental illness as a weakness instead of an illness. Until we start recognizing it as an illness and stop stigmatizing those with the illness, we'll always have many people wandering the streets who are on the edge of this kind of breakdown. Had somebody reported their worries to a mental health hotline, impressed on his family the need to seek help, told the police that they believed he was a danger to himself or others, maybe 8 January would have been a normal day in Tuscon.
Here are some phone numbers for anyone who needs help or knows of someone who needs help.
Mental Health Hotline Numbers and Referral Resources

It's eight pages, so click through until you find what seems to be the most appropriate number.

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