President Donald Trump’s focus to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health” following a mass shooting in Florida last week isn’t so far-fetched, as studies show there is a clear link between mass shootings and mental illness, author Grant Duwe and sociology professor Michael Rocque write in the Los Angeles Times.
People with major mental disorders are more likely to commit violent acts, especially if drugs are involved, according to peer-reviewed research, and nearly 60 percent of the 185 public mass shootings that took place in the U.S. from 1900 through 2017 were committed by people who had “either been diagnosed with a mental disorder or demonstrated signs of serious mental illness prior to the attack,” according to research conducted by the L.A. Times.
"We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health," the president said last week after Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a semi-automatic rifle, killing 17 and injuring at least 17.
Cruz’ mental health has been the focus of Trump’s comments, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar last Thursday said the administration was committed to addressing serious mental health illness and that his agency, “will be laser-focused on this issue in the days, weeks, and months to come.”
Cruz had a history of mental illness and had undergone treatment but stopped attending the sessions at least a year ago.
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