It perpetuates ugly stereotypes and distracts us from the dearth of care – most US citizens with a mental health condition don’t receive the treatment they need

Attempts to blame mass shootings in the US, like the recent one in a Texas church that killed at least 26 people, on mental illness casually propagates wrong-headed connections between extreme violence and mental illness. This has a tendency to drown out the voices of those who correctly point out that people with mental health problems are far more likely to be victims of violence than to perpetrate it. It also cements ugly stereotypes, perpetuates the stigma that people with serious mental health problems frequently encounter and serves as a distraction from the dearth of care and treatment for people who need it most.

People with mental health problems have long borne the brunt of America’s deficient healthcare system. In Britain, meanwhile, the consequences of long-term underfunding and lack of parity with physical health in the NHS continues to take a huge toll. Even after reforms ushered in by Obamacare with the Affordable Care Act and expansion of the federal insurance programme Medicaid, which finally made it...


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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".