Our country will never adequately address mental health

I don't think that these issues are being ignored. I think that it's more likely that these incidents are so complex that long before they can be untangled toward resolution, a new tragedy has popped up in the news cycle. Mental health issues are incredibly complex. These aren't single variable equations but more like super-duper hard Good Will Hunting type shit.

There are teams of professionals working on public health, and in particular, mental health, issues in a multitude of niche areas. Many of them are dedicated to working in an interdisciplinary way that shares information as quickly as it is uncovered. This network of people supporting the cause is vast and few areas of need are untouched.

There are marketing professionals trying to figure out the best way to educate us about health and safety. There are lobbyists fighting for funding, regulation, and policy change. There are researchers digging up new information on disease origin and process. Of course, there are also treatment providers on the front lines working with those who struggle with these illnesses each day. Many more, too...

Personally, I don't believe we can entirely prevent these public health tragedies. People have free will and they won't always make choices in alignment with the hopes of their community. Additionally, the human mind is so easily influenced by biology, environment, intake, output, social systems, family histories, and in ways we don't understand at this point in time. Sometimes, it snaps...

My personal belief is that the best defense against these tragedies is an expanded, mandatory health education curriculum implemented in our public schools. I push for this professionally. I would like to see it begin in early education (birth-5k) and continue throughout high school and even into college. Many of us... fucking so many of us... simply have incorrect information about what it means to be healthy in today's society.

I'm hopeful that having the correct information, practicing the skills in a supervised way, and creating continuing open dialogue about public health issues would facilitate a decrease in public health related crises including mental health tragedies. With any luck, it would also increase the quality of life for those individuals without severe and persistent mental illness who might have otherwise fallen victim to environmentally triggered/sustain depression, anxiety, addiction, etc.

/r/offmychest Thread