Mental health professionals: More resources needed to deal with those susceptible, affected by violent events

 

Wednesday's school shooting in Florida has some raising questions on the resources and the abilities of those in the mental health community to help those susceptible to violent behavior, and those needing help as a result of it.

"If somebody has issues, it might not be safe to approach them," said Dr. Martha Durham, a psychologist and board member for NAMI Greenville. "But from reports, everybody knew (about the Florida suspect)."

Durham said the discussion of the mental health of the shooter misses the point, however.

"I hate when you hear 'it's a mental illness issue.' It's about anti-social behaviors, which are criminal behaviors. It's sociopathy. It's not about depression, anxiety, Aspergers, anything like that."

Durham highlighted the big issue with dealing with those who have violent tendencies.

"If we report a dangerous individual, who is normally not a person coming to us for therapy, like a mandated reporter in a school, a teacher, a counselor, or a good samaritan, you find out you can't do anything until the person acts," said Durham.

Locally, Durham said resources that are available in the area for those with violent tendencies, and those affected by them, are often not funded well.

"We don't have great services here," said Durham. "We have a desire to do the right thing."

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