The president is onto something when he linked mental illness to gun violence. Liberal critics believe this unfairly stigmatizes mentally ill people, whom they say are more likely to be the victims of violence.
Where I disagree with the president is not on the issue of stigmatization, but on his idea of reviving mental institutions and the building of new facilities to handle mentally ill people.
Building facilities for mentally ill people does not go to the heart of the problem. What is desperately needed is identifying and dealing with mental or emotional issues early, before they manifest themselves in an act of violence.
That is why I will continue to insist that we need Early Intervention Centers in our public (and private) high schools that will be there to deal with our troubled teens. I have in mind the Adam Lanzas and Nicholas Cruzes-in-making who are helplessly wandering in our schools and communities, and who need to be intercepted before they become our worst fears.
But it is also clear to me that a team of counselors in our schools is not enough. Parents, friends, anyone in contact with a person who makes clear his inclination or intention—through social media, for example—to perpetrate an act of violence need to notify school counselors or the authorities immediately.
Before we focus on more mental institution facilities, let’s work on helping our kids before they have to be put into one.
Early identification and prevention, not more buildings, are what we need.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MARIA’S CONGRESSIONAL RUN, CHECK OUT HER CAMPAIGN SITE.