No. of Recommendations: 5
IMO it's more evidence lack of mental healthcare accessibility and acceptance doesn't increase safety - especially for our vets. Who's the "bad guy" in this incident - the ill vet suffering from PTSD, or our society and military that doesn't provide adaquate access to mental health and our military that basically punishes those who seek it?

I agree that we need to do a far better job dealing with mental illness, particularly for veterans. I must however point out a couple of things:

(1) The constitutional rights issue is very difficult for mandating mental health treatment, it eclipses the second amendment issue in my opinion. Are we to have a society where a neighbor, coworker, or jilted lover becomes agitated and calls authorities to report that someone is acting unstable? What then? Shall we have the police pick them up, search their house for weapons, and have them involuntarily committed for observation? People who beat the drum of liberty and freedom really need to think this issue through.

(2) Mental health care is extremely expensive and only marginally effective. Most mental health problems are not curable, they are only treatable. The treatment usually involves very expensive medications that lose their effectiveness over time. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications, but commonly the mentally ill do not have the means to pay for them or the responsibility to take them regularly. Involuntarily incarcerating a mentally ill person costs 2 to 3 times what it costs to incarcerate a prison inmate, and psychiatric hospitals are few and over crowded. This explains why prisons are the new mental health care hospitals. The mentally ill commonly do not have health care insurance, and in the rare situations when they do, coverage for mental health treatment is cursory at best.

I would love nothing more than to see the United States get serious about mental health care, but the reality is that I do not think that we have the stomach for it.
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