America Has BIG Mental Health Issue
There is a mental health crisis in this country. Here are a few recent cases where unwell mothers and fathers are turning on their husbands, wives and children.
With the debate over violence raging, we should never go along with the idea that murders are caused by the weapons themselves. But what is driving the murderer? And why aren’t we helping them before tragedy happens? Does the country even have the ability to help people who are showing signs of mental illness or unstable behavior?
These are just a few recent cases that can only point to mental illness causing violence and death.
January 8, Texas
Police were called to an upscale hotel after Flor de Maria Pineda killed her husband and their two sons ages 5 and 10. She then killed herself with a 9mm handgun. Neighbors report that the family were very friendly, and there is no indication yet as to what caused the woman to kill her family and then herself.
January 27, Maryland
IRS employee Calvin Carnathan, 33, shot his 33-year-old wife to death before killing himself. The woman had pleaded with the courts the day before to take away the very shotgun that he used on both on them. Candace Carnathan had been granted a protective order on January 26th, saying that her husband slapped her on January 1st in the face, and then took away her keys and cell phone. They had three children.
Feb 1, Oklahoma
An officer shot and killed 56-year-old William Young after the man had killed his own wife and shot another woman. Around 3 a.m., police approached the home due to a call and Young started firing at the police, prompting the return fire. His wife was 51. Young’s 29-year-old daughter, Rebecca, was shot in the face after going in to check on him but survived the attack and Young refused to let her leave his home for medical attention.
Feb 15, Michigan
Local police reported that there were no reports of domestic violence from a home in the state of Michigan where a man is thought to have murdered his wife and daughter before killing himself.
The suspect is 61-year-old Bob Bonini. His wife was 60 and their daughter was 21. They were found death after midnight in the early hours of Thursday, Feb. 15th after a family friend called the police to do a well-being check. The deaths were thought to have occurred 12-24 hours before the police arrived.
Feb 21, Michigan
Lauren Stuart, 45, shot her husband and three adult children to death before turning the gun on herself.
Friends believe that she killed her entire family due to shunning by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The family had left the religion more than five years ago and Lauren was supposedly in “emotional distress” and “felt alone.”
Feb 24, Missouri
A young girl pretended that she was asleep while her father shot her mother and half-brother to death in their home before turning the gun to himself. 31-year-old Dornubari Dugbor’s 4-year-old daughter was woken up when she heard the shots and went to the living room where her mother was on the floor, but her father told her to go back to her room.
Dugbor called the police to let them know that they would find three bodies at his address before killing himself.
Blame Nurse Ratched and ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’
With the book published in 1962 and the film released in 1975, the impact on public beliefs about mental health facilities was greatly damaged.
The Community Mental Health Act under John F. Kennedy started the trend of deinstitutionalization which replaced psychiatric hospitals with mental health care available in local communities. These new “halfway houses” can be beneficial depending on the mental illness suffered by a patient, but with the loss of these psychiatric hospitals, people with dangerous mental health issues landed back in the community.
As soft and caring as we must be, it is not always the kindest thing to take someone with severe schizophrenia or other issues and put them into the community.
Many people were left homeless with the closure of these facilities.
It’s clear that many violent crimes being committed are a direct result of the rejection of committing patients to psychiatric communities. Doctors, families and police do not have the power to commit someone who appears to be unstable.
None of these crimes were committed because of guns. These crimes all happened because there are so few ways to help someone who is mentally unwell. Psychiatry has been demonized, and mental hospitals are considered cruel. But we are not morally superior when we allow the mental health of citizens go ignored.
Sources: Detroit Free Press, The Washington Post, Washington’s Top News, New York Post, Oklahoma’s News Four,