In the News
Trump's claims and what experts say about mental illness and mass shootings
Posted on Aug 23 2019
Reports that under pressure to take action, the president has repeatedly tried to shift the cause of mass shootings away from guns and toward mental illness. There was strong reaction as well from NAMI acting CEO Angela Kimball
. "The president should be talking about better care and earlier access to intensive treatment, not revisiting the shameful institutions of our past," she said in a statement. "Words matter, Mr. President. 'These people' are our friends, neighbors, children, spouses. They're not 'monsters,' 'the mentally ill' or 'crazy people' -- they're us. Talking about reinstitutionalization only further marginalizes and isolates the 1 in 5 people with mental illness. Instead, we need to be talking about the power of early treatment and effective intervention to change lives," she said.
'Trauma Doesn’t Go Away By Itself.' How El Paso Is Tackling Mental Health Stigma After the Walmart Mass Shooting
Posted on Aug 20 2019
Reports that since the mass shooting at Walmart in El Paso, those working in the mental health care field say there has been increasing demand for their services and they believe it may be a turning point in public perception. “It can span from religion, to the belief that [mental illness] just doesn’t exist, or a ‘people just need to get over it’ attitude — sort of machismo culture where you don’t admit anything’s wrong with you, you’re not allowed to cry and you just have to get over something,” says Isidro Torres, director of outreach and fundraising, NAMI El Paso
, which has for decades attempted to reduce the stigma in the area. Torres says more resources can help everyone.
Five-Question Interview with Doug Beach, NAMI FaithNet
Posted on Aug 19 2019
Faith in Healthcare
Interview with Doug Beach, Chairperson of NAMI’s FaithNet Advisory Group
. FaithNet encourages and supports outreach to faith communities through NAMI’s local and state affiliates across the country. Beach is also a NAMI Family-to-Family instructor and leads a Family Grace faith-based support group for families impacted by mental illness. “People are surprised to learn that, if persons with mental illness can get care and find community, 80 to 90% of the time they get better,” he said. “Building community and providing family education does not replace medical treatment, but they are a critical component of people getting better. The importance of spirit and community means faith communities have a huge role to play in the process. They not only provide the belief structure, but they provide community.”
Advocates slam Trump for remarks on mental illness
Posted on Aug 18 2019
Mental health advocates chastised President Trump for saying the U.S. could fight gun violence by reopening institutions to keep “mentally deranged and dangerous” people off the streets, saying it could stigmatize patients. Others said focusing on people who have mental illness distracts from the issue at hand. “It’s easier to get a gun in the United States than it is to get mental health care,” said Angela Kimball, acting CEO of NAMI
Trump wants to bring back mental institutions to address mass shootings
Posted on Aug 16 2019
Reports that the president's insistence that mental illness is the cause of mass shootings has disconcerted mental health professionals who insist that most people with mental illness are nonviolent. These experts also say people afflicted with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violent crime than the perpetrator, and fear the president's language only further stigmatizes those struggling with mental health issues. NAMI acting CEO Angela Kimball
said the president "should be talking about better care and earlier access to intensive treatment, not revisiting the shameful institutions of our past." "Words matter, Mr. President. 'These people' are our friends, neighbors, children, spouses. They're not 'monsters,' 'the mentally ill' or 'crazy people' — they're us.
Trump advocates for more mental health facilities to address gun violence
Posted on Aug 16 2019
Reports that President Trump is calling for more mental health facilities to combat gun violence in the wake of deadly shootings in Texas and Ohio. "Talking about reinstitutionalization only further marginalizes and isolates the one in five people with mental illness," Angela Kimball, the acting CEO
of NAMI, wrote in a statement. Closures of mental health facilities have been due to a variety of factors, Kimball said. Among them are reports of inadequate care, sub-par conditions and the development of new treatment methods that could address the mental health concerns of patients. Specifically, a shift toward community-based care was discovered, Kimball said in an interview with USA TODAY, responding to Trump's comments to reporters in New Jersey.
Trump says US should build more mental health institutions to combat gun violence
Posted on Aug 16 2019
Reports that President Trump says the U.S. should begin building more mental health institutions to combat the nation’s ongoing gun violence. In response, the National Alliance on Mental Illness said the president “should be talking about better care and earlier access to intensive treatment, not revisiting the shameful institutions of our past.” “Words matter, Mr. President. ‘These people’ are our friends, neighbors, children, spouses. They’re not ‘monsters,’ ‘the mentally ill’ or ‘crazy people’ — they’re us,” acting CEO Angela Kimball
said in a statement.
Democrats, Independents Less Likely Than GOP to Blame Mental Illness in Gun Attacks
Posted on Aug 07 2019
Reports on a new Morning Consult/Politico poll of 1,960 registered voters, 48% of voters are in agreement with Trump, placing “a lot” of blame on mental illness for mass shootings, while another 35% place “some.” Among the GOP electorate, roughly 3 in 5 Republicans place “a lot” of blame on mental illness for mass shootings — making it the No. 1 factor Republicans believe drive mass shootings. “In the U.S., it is easier to get a gun than it is to get mental health care,” said Angela Kimball, the acting CEO
Ronald Honberg on Red Flag Laws
Posted on Aug 07 2019
Ron Honberg, Senior Policy Advisor
C-SPAN Washington Journal
, was on C-SPAN Washington Journal for a 30-minute segment on “Red Flag” laws that included call-in questions from the public. Ron talked about the fact that people with mental illness are more often the victims of violence than the perpetrators. He discussed how the rhetoric around mass shootings and mental illness is damaging and the importance of reducing stigma and discrimination around mental illness.
Trump has Tried to Slash Funds for Mental Health Care Despite Post-Shooting Rhetoric
Posted on Aug 06 2019
Reports that while Trump has attempted to link mass shootings to mental health issues, he has simultaneously proposed budgets that would strip hundreds of billions from Medicaid. Medicaid is "the most critical part of any conversation about mental health care," Jennifer Snow, the acting National Director of Advocacy and Public Policy
at NAMI, told Newsweek. "It's the nation's largest payer for mental health and substance abuse services." Trump's proposed FY2020 request sought to add $115 million to SAMHSA. But this proposal merely increased funding "by pennies toward SAMHSA while gutting Medicaid," Snow said.