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Mental health issues should no longer be ignored

Feb 20 • Harlee Boehm, Opinion • 1656

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In the time that I have been writing, I have found that I tend to shy away from the negative news and events that go on in the world.
I am not the type of person who likes to talk about politics.
I don’t see myself as someone who is really qualified to have a strong opinion on many of the issues that our society faces today, at least not unbiased, heavily educated opinions.
I also find that I am afraid of putting my opinion out there for others to tear apart or judge. This is especially true when it comes to things that I feel strongly about.
But I feel as though I cannot keep quiet anymore, and it seems like many of the people around me, and in the rest of the country, feel the same way.
With the latest school shooting in Florida, I feel like I can’t keep quiet anymore.
Although I don’t feel educated enough to take a political stand, I do feel as though I have an opinion that may differ from the people I see on my Facebook timeline.
While I do not feel any sympathy for the violent people behind the crimes that we are beginning to see far too often, I do believe there are measures that can be taken to try to help these people before they act out in such a way that can be devastating to the lives of others.
One thing that I strongly believe is that these kinds of senseless murders would decline if the topic of mental health were more prominent in our schools.
Again, while I believe that the people behind these crimes cannot blame their actions on a mental illness, I believe having a better understanding of a child’s mental state would help us prevent these kinds of acts before they occur.
Many people do not want to bring up the mental health aspect of these crimes because they do not want to seem as though they are defending the act, but I do not see it as that at all.
I simply believe that adults, especially parents and teachers, should be aware of the issues that so many students are facing mentally on a daily basis in this generation.
By being more aware of these issues, parents and teachers would have the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of the minds of these children, ultimately allowing them to help the children before crimes like this could occur.
In my opinion, a child should recieve a mental health checkup each year just as they are required to receive a physical health checkup. Taking care of the mind is just as important as taking care of the body.
I am not saying that this is the only solution, or that I even know what steps it would take to even begin creating a solution, but there are very clear and obvious things we could be doing in order to prevent these crimes from even being thoughts in the first place.

HARLEE BOEHM
boehm003@knights.gannon.edu

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