Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mass Shootings and Mental Illness

The events in Tucson left many of us asking - How could this happen? But we've seen this before - an unstable man, a senseless attack.

It's put a spotlight on mental illness. In this country, 45 million adults are mentally ill. 11 million of those cases are considered serious.

The Tucson shooting is the latest tragedy linked to a gunman believed to be mentally ill. In 1993, Colin Ferguson killed six commuters on a New York Train. In 1998, Russell Weston killed two at the U.S. Capitol. In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech.

Mental health funding has been declining for decades. Since 2009, states have cut more than $2 billion for mental health from their budgets.

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