After Mass Shootings, Some Call For Better Mental Health Programs. Would It Help?

March 26, 2018
Photo: Gun March Denver Civic Center Park Gun Owner (Turk)
Jack Drake, a gun owner from Highlands Ranch, at the March For Our Lives protest in Denver on March 24, 2018. He says he started changing his mind about gun control after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. "Parkland changed my mind," he said.

Saturday’s March for Our Lives demonstrated, many people advocate for tighter restrictions on firearms in the aftermath of mass shootings. Others point to a need for better mental health services. But two experts from the University of Colorado tell Colorado Matters that statistically, people with mental illness are no more likely to become violent than people who don't have a diagnosed mental illness.

Photo: Mental Health And Violence Experts(Nathaniel Minor/CPR News)
Dr. Jason Williams is a pediatric psychologist also associated with Children's Hospital Colorado, left, and Dr. Michael Allen, who teaches and practices psychiatry and emergency medicine, and treats patients at the Depression Center at CU Anschutz. 

Dr. Michael Allen teaches and practices psychiatry and emergency medicine, and treats patients at the Depression Center at CU Anschutz. Dr. Jason Williams is a pediatric psychologist also associated with Children's Hospital Colorado. They addressed the challenges of finding a meaningful connection between mental illness and mass shootings, why young people become violent, and how girls and women with mental health issues are more likely to internalize struggles while men more frequently become violent.