Mental Health Issues and the Tragic Arizona Shooting

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I am a certified health coach specializing in recovery coaching, mindfulness coaching, and health coaching. I work with all attachments including substance, codependency, and food ...Read More

Hatred never ceases by hatred but by love alone is it healed…The Buddha

Since the terrifying and tragic events of last Friday when a group of people were shot in Arizona, I have been doing much reflecting on this and attempting to put it into its proper perspective without resorting to hatred myself.


As it turns out, this young man has been reported to have mental illness, possibly schizophrenia. He may have had a mentor who encouraged him, but that will be discovered later.

First, I believe that it is important to look at the state of our health care in this country. Especially regarding emotional and mental illness, there are so many people who are unable to seek treatment because they may be unable to navigate the system in order to receive social services or they just don’t have enough money to pay for treatment if they fall into middle class incomes because insurance rarely covers mental issues effectively. It must be remembered also that in the 1970’s the doors to the mental hospitals were closed to the indigent and those people flooded the streets with nowhere to live and no place to receive help. This attitude and policy continues today. This is why I am a proponent of a public form of health care that cares for the least among us.

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Secondly, there must be some kind of consequences for those who propagate hate in the media. The corporate owners have discovered that hate talk makes money so they promote it because it sells. It sells because it taps into the poison that all of us possess. That poison is fear. Since the events of September 11th, when we realized that we can be attacked from without, people have had great difficulty knowing what to do with the fear that they felt. The first unenlightened response is to retaliate and fight back. When people feel powerless to fight back a remote and stealthy aggressor, they turn to what we call displaced aggression. They begin to express their fear through hatred of those around them. Usually they pick on those weaker or different from them. Thus racism and lack of empathy for those who are already suffering increases. Unfortunately, this dynamic is being propagated by politicians and the media….because it makes money.

We are all accountable for these heinous acts because we are all capable of digressing into this kind of fear based behavior. It is important when we experience such a sorrowful event to look inside of ourselves and see where we are driven by fear and hatred and to transform that fear and hatred into compassion. When this is done anger turns into sorrow and remorse. Others pain is our own pain. We are then able to return to love in order to cease hatred and develop compassion toward all human…even the hate talkers.

Be well……

Keep Reading By Author Michele Happe, MA, Certified Health Coach
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