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Mental Health, Violence, and President Obama’s Executive Orders

I work as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the Dallas Metro area. I have been in this field for almost 15 years and am currently more saddened than I have ever been, but also more hopeful. I am hopeful because there is now a brighter spotlight on mental health needs in our society.

However, much of the legislation that is taking place is reactive and not proactive. We need to take a look at the foundation of our system, not react by taking away individual rights (privacy/HIPPA, the second amendment, and free speech). I am fearful that the new executive orders will make people even more apprehensive to seek out mental health treatment for fear of their privacy being infringed upon.

And though there is now more attention on mental health concerns, I fear the stigma is also being perpetuated. I do not know the answer, but I do know that as a society, there needs to be more education and less fear about mental health. We need to protect, build up, and support the mentally ill, not isolate, stigmatize, or demonize them.

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