The online Master of Public Health program (MPH@GW) in conjunction with SPHHS created an infographic in hopes of raising awareness around America’s broken mental health system and issues pertaining to gun control and violence in the United States.
Although gun violence in America is frequently attributed to the availability of firearms, another important factor that we must take into consideration is our nation’s broken mental health system. It is unfair to point fingers at people with mental health disorders when we talk about gun violence — knowing that the increased risk of violence for most mentally ill people is minimal — but when we step back and pair untreated mental health illnesses with substance abuse, the risk doubles, forcing us to exam our mental health system.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control shares that one in five American children has a mental health disorder, of which only 21 percent receive treatment. In a recent op-ed, Lynn Goldman, dean of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, also points out that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness start by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24. With everything we know, we must not only tackle gun control, but must fix deficiencies in the U.S. mental health system to ensure real change.
We encourage you to share our graphic below to help raise awareness of these important issues: