Last week, it occurred once again in our country- an event that should be unfathomable. 17 lives were taken in a single mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We all mourn the loss of these innocent students and teachers. A tragedy we’ve encountered with relative frequency forces the need for crucial talks about policy and change to happen. As we process this event and turn to our lawmakers and communities for solutions so that this horrific moment never happens again, it is imperative that we as a society talk openly about mental illness and mental wellbeing. Our country must be educated that mental illness is a brain disease that can most often be treated. It is a time to understand that living with a mental illness does not mean you are a violent person. We must understand that the mental health of the victim’s families and the survivors of this tragedy matter. And we must all be advocates for access to mental healthcare and remain vigilant in the effort to destigmatize an all too often misunderstood spectrum of illness. It is a time to talk about policy and prevention, school resources and curriculum, gun control and safety precautions.
MADO Healthcare provides mental health care to brothers and sisters, wives and husbands, friends and neighbors. We remain dedicated to advocating for access to care and to educating clients, family, friends and policy makers about the spectrum of mental health diagnoses. We join in mourning last week’s tragedy along with the students, teachers, Floridians, Americans and the world. Let’s unite in sensible gun laws and fight to change the way we understand and treat mental health in attitude and practice.