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Living With Mental Illness After the Sandy Hook Shooting

By HERWriter
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mental illness consequences after Sandy Hook shootings Haakon M.E. Sundaune/PhotoSpin

In fact, she thinks there could be an increase in funding for mental health care.

Holly Parker, a Harvard psychologist, said in an email that if general rights of people with mental illnesses are restricted, that would “arguably violate principles of social justice” and would be “unfounded,” except in the case of maintaining certain restrictions to gun ownership and use.

However, gun restrictions should not just pertain to some people with severe mental illness.

“People with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence rather than perpetrators, and the vast majority of people with mental illness never go on to commit violence,” Parker said.

She said it’s important to understand that aggressive and violent acts can take place without the presence of mental illness.

“Let's be clear: It's true that people who go on a shooting rampage are likely to have mental health issues, but just because most shooters have mental health issues doesn't mean that most people with mental health issues are likely to be shooters,” Parker said.

She said instead of stigma and fear, we should be treating people with mental illness with support, acceptance and equality.

Tina B. Tessina, a psychotherapist and author of “It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction,” said in an email that she doesn’t foresee much change when it comes to mental health care after the recent shootings at Sandy Hook.

“People are more likely to get more help from the Affordable Health Care Act than from any changes pursuant to this tragedy,” Tessina said.

“Mandating care for the mentally ill might impinge on their rights, if you think that the right not to care for themselves is valuable.”

And if increased access to mental health care is provided, it needs to be more than just prescribing medication.

“Cognitive behavioral therapy programs, training programs and self-management care are proven to help people live better lives,” Tessina said. “Different mental illnesses and cognitive/emotional problems need different kinds of care.”

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.