Letter: Mental illness: We need to step up | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Mental illness: We need to step up

I just have to say this “out loud.”

While each of these shootings to which we are almost becoming inured is abhorrent, challenging and beefing up security and talking about guns is not the cause or the solution.

This most recent young man, along with all of the others, was disconnected and ill and needed help. Rather than vilifying him after the fact, why are we not finding ways to both identify and help the mentally ill before they are driven to such random, tragic violence? The signs are always there — there is always someone who has wondered, and often many have. We sweep “other people’s problems” under the rug and wonder, “Why doesn’t his or her (mother/father/wife/husband/partner) do something?”

I know from personal experience that sometimes when you are in the thick of it, “doing something” isn’t an option. It takes a village, and we aren’t stepping up. The torment of a mentally ill individual deserves compassion and intervention — where is the public outcry and energy toward this need?

I mean, really. This guy called the police and told them he heard voices. Somewhere between that phone call and the killings, there were many dropped balls. No one to blame, no energy in that, just a message to all of us.

Georgia Hanson


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