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Public Statements

Fixing America's Mental Health Illness

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. MURPHY of Pennsylvania. Yesterday, Dylan Quick, a 20-year-old student at Lone Star College in Texas, went on a rampage with a knife, hurting more than a dozen people. He told police he had fantasized since elementary school about stabbing people to death.

Tucson shooter Jared Loughner told his psychologists that he wished he had been taking his anti-psychotic medication. If he had been, Loughner, who has schizophrenia, says the Tucson shooting might not have happened.

A psychiatrist treating James Holmes told campus police a month before the Colorado theater attack that Holmes had homicidal thoughts and was a danger to the public. Holmes also exhibited signs of schizophrenia.

Those with mental illness are generally more likely to be the victims rather than the perpetrators of violence, but those with untreated mental illness are at increased risk of violent behavior. Ten percent of all homicides are committed by individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychotic illnesses.

When will we acknowledge that it is not just what is in the killer's hand that makes him dangerous, be it fist, knife or gun, but what is in his mind? We must take off the blinders and acknowledge the importance of the diagnosis of mental illness and severe mental illness. Let's fix our mental illness system.


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