President Obama is stepping up to the plate, so to speak, in the fight against gun violence. After recent shootings across the country, stemming from horrific events like Columbine High School, the President is taking action to prevent further devastation in our communities.
President Obama’s efforts are focused on an improvement in mental health diagnosis and treatment. Early detection of the symptoms and behaviors in young people that indicate a likelihood of violence can reduce the amount of individuals who eventually do act out violently.
Mental health treatment, as part of the president’s plan to fight gun violence, includes an expansion in the availability of access to mental health care, increased insurance coverage for mental illnesses, and launching a national dialogue to educate the masses on mental illness and to reduce the stigma that currently surrounds mental illness in our country.
Dr. Vilma Gabbay, psychiatrist and chief of the Pediatric Mood and Anxiety Program at Mount Sinai in Manhattan believes that President Obama’s action is long overdue. She adds that there are warning signs that parents, teachers, and other participants in the lives of our youth can watch for in teens and young adults.
Dr. Gabbay states that, “Many times the teen will present with withdrawal, socially withdrawal, spending more time with themselves, internally preoccupied, and not seeking pleasurable activities.”
Other warning signs of mood and anxiety disorders include:
• Inability to concentrate.
• Irritability and anger.
• Disorganized Speech.
• Grandiosity or a belief in having super powers.
Identification of these signs and symptoms is great, but Dr. Gabbay feels that the next step is where the major problem lies: access to appropriate care and treatment. Psychiatric help is limited, and very expensive. The teens and young adults who have engaged in gun violence were not receiving treatment for the mental illness that lead them to shoot innocent people.
Changes in the way mental health treatment is viewed, made available, and financed are crucial as President Obama implements his plan to fight gun violence.
Listen to how mental health treatment from Sovereign helped Brianna: