Ky. psychologist says mental illness is not to blame for recent acts of violence

09/01/2015 06:01 PM

As politicians consider the vexing problem that is gun violence, one Kentucky psychologist claims that mental health illnesses are not to blame, though they’re often identified as the culprit by those in public office.

Pure Politics’ Nick Storm sat down with Dr. Sheila Schuster from the Kentucky Psychological Association and asked her whether or not she believes that mental health is causing the violent problems that we are seeing on the news. Dr. Schuster’s reply differed from the norm of what a lot of politicians seem to be saying. She doesn’t think that mental illness is to blame for the majority of gun violence.

Dr. Schuster believes that in many of the cases, those behind the gun violence would not be diagnosed with a mental illness if it had not been for their acts of violence.

Rather, Schuster points to an anger issue, compounded by an impulse control problem. She says that when someone has a gun and feels angry, the impulse is to act on that anger.

Dr. Schuster thinks that the state and nation need to be more careful about who is allowed to own guns and provides examples of how guns create more problems than just violence against others.

So how does Kentucky stack up when it comes to handling issues of mental health?

According to Dr. Schuster, Kentucky ranks in the bottom ten of per capita spending when it comes to mental health. And, according to a report by the State Mental Health Agency, as of 2013 Kentucky ranked 45th in per capita spending for mental health.

The entire interview with Dr. Schuster is below. To hear what she has to say on what funding comes from the Affordable Care Act for mental health forward to 8:07 in the clip below.


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